Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Three, Two, One, Go!

Michelle Hill
Hillsborough County Schools

Description

This activity allows students to know why the height of an inclined plane affects the speed at which an object travels.

Objectives

The student knows that an object may move in a straight line at a constant speed, speed up, slow down, or change direction dependent on net force acting on the object.

Materials

For every team of students (4 per team) the following is needed:
- 1 Student chair
- 1 Square crate
- 1 Large dictionary (approximately 3 inches in height)
- 1 Small book (approximately 1.5 inches in height)
- 1 Stopwatch/timer
- 1 Wooden 2x4 plank
- 1 KíNEX Racer (race car) or a soup can
- 1 Meter stick
In addition every student needs:
- 1 Pencil
- 1 Recording sheet for collecting data during the experiment (see attached file)
- 1 Clipboard
- 1 Piece of notebook paper for experiment response
- 1 Copy of each rubric (see associated file)

Preparations

1. Gather materials to gain student attention: 2x4 wooden plank, a KíNEX race car (or use a soup can), stopwatch.
2. Gather materials for student-led experiments.
3. Make copies of the chart worksheet for students to use to record data.
4. Make copies of the rubrics.
5. Preview weblinks for additional background information if needed.

Procedures

1. Prior to beginning of lesson, set up a ramp in your room, make a KíNEX race car (or use a soup can) and grab a stopwatch to kick off this topic of study. Make certain students have prior knowledge of the formula to calculate speed (distance divided by time equals speed).

2. Holding a stopwatch in one hand, a KíNEX race car (or a soup can on its side) in the other at the top of the ramp, instruct students to count down with you from ten to one at which point the car (or soup can) will be released. The stopwatch will be activated when the car (or soup can) is released and the stopwatch will be stopped when the car (or soup can) stops. Reveal the time it took for the car (or soup can) to move from the top of the ramp to its stopping point.

3. Pose the following questions:
Do you think the height of the ramp effected the speed with which the car moved? Why?
Encourage students to share their thoughts.

4. Review the definition of an inclined plane Ė a plane surface set at an angle, other than a right angle, against a horizontal surface.

5. Review the definition of a force - A push or pull exerted on an object.

6. Outline the expectations and review the directions for the students to successfully complete the following student-led experiment:
a.Teams of students (4 per team) get the materials listed below:
- 1 Student chair
- 1 Square crate
- 1 Large dictionary (approximately 3 inches in height)
- 1 Small book (approximately 1.5 inches in height)
- 1 Stopwatch/timer
- 1 Wooden 2x4 plank
- 1 KíNEX race car (or a soup can)
- 1 Meter stick

In addition every student needs:
- 1 Pencil
- 1 Recording sheet (chart) for collecting data during the experiment (see associated file)
- 1 Clipboard
- 1 Piece of notebook paper for experiment response
- 1 Calculator
- 1 Copy of each rubric (see associated file)
b. Explain all directions c-k. Then distribute and explain the assessment criteria for the chart and graph that students will be creating.
c. Teams will find a location in the classroom or outside (as determined by the
teacher) in which to perform their experiment.
d. One team member sets up an inclined plane using a student chair by placing the wooden plank off the base of the chair.
e. One team member takes the car (or soup can) and puts it at the top of the inclined plane.
f. One team member is in charge of the stopwatch/timer.
g. One team member watches the car and says, Go to the timer and Stop! to the timer at the appropriate times. He/she is also in charge of the meter stick. It is his/her job to measure the distance the car (or soup can) traveled from start to finish. Distance should be measured in centimeters.
h. Students look to team member in charge of the stopwatch to inform them of the time it took for the car (or soup can) to stop and record the data on their individual recording sheets (chart) accordingly.
i. Students look to team member in charge of the meter stick to inform them of the distance the car (or soup can) traveled in centimeters and record the data on their individual recording sheets (chart) accordingly.
j. Perform the experiment two more times with the same inclined plane.
k. Instruct students that the same procedure will be followed making an inclined plane with the square crate, large dictionary and small book for a total of 12 trials.

7. Once all trials have been run, students will return to their workspace inside the classroom with their individual recording sheets. At this time, students determine the speed the car (or soup can) traveled by dividing distance by time (calculators optional) for every trial run and record the data on their individual recording sheets (chart) accordingly.

8. Using the data recorded on their individual recording sheets (chart), students complete an individual experiment response demonstrating their knowledge of the affect of force on the speed of an object.

9. Instruct students to compare their experiment responses with other teams to determine whether other groups had similar results. Allow ample time for discussion and feedback.

10. Instruct students that recording sheets (chart) and the experiment response sheets will be collected for formative assessment.

Assessments

Students record data on a chart and calculate speed to reveal the results of three trials placing an inclined plane at different heights to determine if the height of an inclined plane along with the subsequent force acting on the object affects the speed at which the object moves.
Students also complete an experiment response.
Use completed chart and experiment response to formatively assess the studentís ability to know that force affects the speed at which an object travels.
The rubrics in the attached file include the criteria for successful performance.

Extensions

Extensions
1. Have students find the average speed for all inclined planes based on all trials.
2. See Weblinks for more ideas.
3. Using Leonardoís Mysterious Machinery Website (see Weblinks) to preview his inventions. Then have students create a modern machine using an inclined plane.

Modifications:
Any kind of race car can be used for this experiment as long as every teamís is the same. This helps to control variables when teams compare data. Also, as noted in the lesson, a soup can will also serve the same purpose as long as every teamís is the same.

Web Links

Use this site to purchase K’NEX race cars if necessary.
K'NEX

Use this site for background information or as an extension.
The Inclined Plane

Use this site for background information or as an extension.


Marvelous Machines

Use this site for background information or as an extension.
Simple Machines

Use this site as an extension (see Gadget Anatomy and Leonardo’s Mysterious Machines.)
Exposing Leonardo

Use this site for background information or as an extension
Simple Machines

Attached Files

Inclined plane chart, rubrics, and experiment response.     File Extension: pdf

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