Today we first did the “flavors of energy” discussion a la @kellyoshea.
So last year we went for it and had the kids develop all of the energy equations in the lab… my first year teaching freshman I wasn’t sure they could do it, so I just gave them, and it about killed me. Last year they did it, but it was hard… we had 3 different stations going, it was pretty confusing, and exhausting. In the end, they got good results, but we all about died making it happen.
This year we decided to streamline a bit and guide a bit more. We did the Work station (part 1) as a demo and did it together. We had 3 different pulleys and raised all masses to the same height, and after the previous discussion, they could see each one had the same Eg since they had the same mass and were raised to the same height.
We “measured” the force you had to pull with, as well as the distance through which you pulled. Of course, these all should be equal, since they gained the same amount of energy, the same amount work must have been done on them. These are incredibly hard measurements to get well, so after we tried, we discussed the very rough measuring methods, and I told them I was going to adjust the numbers a bit so they would see the right relationship and not get bogged down in small details…. not the greatest plan, but necessary I think.
Then each group made their own whiteboards and then we discussed… then they started working on their CERs. Well done. This went much more smoothly than last year. The next two parts they will do on their own!
Lab here: Energy Equations Lab