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Becky McCoy

Lesson Title: Changing Magnetic Field Application Timing: 120 minutes

Target Audience:
11th and 12th grade Physics course

Students Will Be Able To:
• Explain the parts of the Hoover Dam generator and their significance.
• Analyze the generator using the Right/Left hand rule and content area vocabulary.
• Demonstrate understanding through a pop quiz.

The Teacher Will Be Able To:

• Give students various applications of content to further understanding.
• Give students opportunity to demonstrate understanding through quiz.

Standards Assessed:
New York State Standards in Physics
4.1 Observe and describe transmission of various forms of energy.
xv. map the magnetic field of a permanent magnet, indicating the direction of the field between
the N (north-seeking) and S (south-seeking) poles
4.1j Energy may be stored in electric* or magnetic fields. This energy may be transferred
through conductors or space and may be converted to other forms of energy.
4.1k Moving electric charges produce magnetic fields. The relative motion between a conductor
and a magnetic field may produce a potential difference in the conductor.
5.1 Students can explain and predict different patterns of motion of objects (e.g., linear and uniform
circular motion, velocity and acceleration, momentum and inertia).
5.1t Gravitational forces are only attractive, whereas electrical and magnetic forces can be
attractive or repulsive.

National Science Education Standards (1996) as published on

6.2 Table of Physical Science Standards, Level 9-12
• Structure and properties of matter.
• Interactions of energy and matter.
6.7 Table of History and Nature of Science Standards, Level 9-12
• Science as a human endeavor.
• Historical perspectives.

Misconception(s) Addressed:
• Magnetic fields behave the same as • Magnetic field lines start at one pole
electric fields and end at the other.
• North and south magnetic poles are • Poles can be isolated.
the same as positive and negative • Flux is the same as field lines.
charges. • Flux is actually the flow of the
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magnetic field. • Charges, when released, will move

• Magnetic fields are the same as toward the poles of a magnet.
electric fields. • Generating electricity requires no
• Charges at rest can experience work.
magnetic forces. • When generating electricity only the
• Magnetic fields from magnets are magnet can move.
not caused by moving charges. • Voltage can only be induced in a
• Magnetic fields are not 3- closed circuit.
dimensional. • Magnetic flux, rather than change of
• Magnetic field lines hold you on the magnetic flux, causes an induced emf.

Prior Knowledge: Electricity Unit, Lessons 1-4 of Magnetism Unit

Aim: To illustrate the relationship between magnetism and electricity through the Hoover Dam.

Concept Map Vocabulary: n/a

Necessary Preparation:
• Pop Quiz

• Computer and Projector

• Have computer and projector set up with Hoover Dam pictures and video.
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Lesson Plan

Aim: To illustrate the relationship between magnetism and electricity through the Hoover Dam.

Physics Push-Up: Quick Problem (5 minutes)

PART I: Have the following problem on the board or document camera when students enter:
An electron experiences a leftward force of 10N in a magnetic field of 1T that is pointing downward.
a. Which direction was the electron’s initial velocity?
b. Calculate the initial velocity of the electron.
c. Does this answer seem of an appropriate scale?

PART II: Quick Write – list everything you know about magnetism!

• Computer and projector


PART I: (25 minutes)

Watch Hoover Dam video if there wasn’t enough time last class:
• “New Hoover Dam”:
• Hoover Dam Facts: water moves through the dam at 85mph and it creates 4,000,000,000 kWh per year
with a maximum output of 2.08 gigawatts. It provides electricity to the following places (not the Las
Vegas Strip):

Area Percentage
Metropolitan Water District of Southern California 28.5393%
State of Nevada 23.3706%
State of Arizona 18.9527%
Los Angeles, California 15.4229%
Southern California Edison Company 5.5377%
Boulder City, Nevada 1.7672%
Glendale, California 1.5874%
Pasadena, California 1.3629%
Anaheim, California 1.1487%
Riverside, California 0.8615%
Vernon, California 0.6185%
Burbank, California 0.5876%
Azusa, California 0.1104%
Colton, California 0.0884%
Banning, California 0.0442%
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Hoover Dam process:

Water  Turbine  Shaft  Rotor  Pole Piece  Stator  Stator Coils  Electricity
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PART II: (25 minutes)

At this point, for summary purposes, it would be useful to have students draw and label each part of the
generator with the types of energy transfer and interactions that are occurring to assess whether or not they
understand the process involved. Students should also use the right hand rule to show which way the magnets
are spinning and which direction the current will flow.

Allow students to share their summaries and current events with the table.

Activity Summary: Field Trip Prep/Pop Quiz (20 minutes)

PART I: What I want to see list:
• Students go through their notes and make a list of what they want to look for on the field trip to the
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Hoover Dam.
• Share ideas out loud in order to compile one long list to have a scavenger hunt for the field trip.
PART II: See attachment.

Homework: Research & Current Events (5 minutes)

PART I: Students should research the history of the Hoover Dam and write a half page summary. They should
also find a current event that is analogous to the Hoover Dam’s role in history.
PART II: n/a

Exit Strategy: (5 minutes)

PART I: Exit Cards
• 3 parts of the Hoover Dam
• 2 things you want to see at the Dam
• 1 thing you never knew that we discussed today
PART II: Hand in Pop Quiz

Extension Activity:
Find a different Hoover Dam video to show.

• Student discussions
• Student questions and comments
• Student drawings, labels, and use of right/left hand rule

• Quiz

• “New Hoover Dam”:
• Hoover Dam Wikipedia page

Notes & Adaptations:

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Name ________________________________________ Class _________ Date ___________

POP Quiz!
Use the Right or Left Hand Rule to answer the following questions:

1. The current is traveling through the wire as drawn. Which direction does the magnetic field face behind the

2. The strength of the field is 0.8T and an electron enters it at 100m/s.

a. What is the value of the force exerted on the electron?
b. What direction does the force point if the magnetic field is toward the left and the electron is traveling
into the page?

3. Compare and contrast what happens when two north ends of a magnet come near each other and when two
opposite poles are near each other.

4. Extra Credit (write on the back): State two pieces of the Hoover Dam generator and explain their purposes.