Lesson Plan Template: Confirmatory or Structured Inquiry
Learning Objectives: What will students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
Students will be able to:
- Differentiate among various forms of energy and describe energy transformations during course of ride
- Analyze the motion of an object in terms of its position, velocity and acceleration
- Interpret and apply Newton's Laws of Motion
- Apply conservation of linear and/or angular momentum to objects
- Communicate results of scientific investigations and evaluate the merits of explanations produced by others
- Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words into visual form and translate information expressed visually or mathematically into words
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
This is the culminating activity for a semester of mechanics. Previous course work may be supported by additional activities as well as foundational activities in class (problem solving, lab work) to support students' understanding of concepts and ability to solve problems mathematically.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- How is conservation of energy used in designing an amusement park ride?
- How are Newton's laws of motion used in designing an amusement park ride?
- How is conservation of momentum used in designing an amusement park ride?
Introduction: How will the teacher introduce the lesson to the students?
Students should be introduced to this activity at least several weeks before the due date to allow for adequate time to research and develop their ideas.
A simulation or video demonstrating the physics of amusement park rides can be used to introduce the activity. Some suggestions: computer simulations, iPad apps such as Coaster Physics, a field trip to a local amusement park, videos about ride design or a guest speaker from the industry
Investigate: What question(s) will students be investigating? What process will students follow to collect information that can be used to answer the question(s)?
The local amusement park, Fun Spot, is soliciting bids for a new ride for its ongoing expansion. Students will select a ride type (roller coaster, flume, swing/rotational, free fall, or pendulum) and work with a group to investigate the underlying physics involved, and use your results to design a safe, functional and efficient ride. Groups may use any print or web-based materials to investigate their ride. Each group will present their findings to the class in an oral presentation with visuals of their choice. Presentations will take place the week before second-nine-weeks exams.
Students may select their group topic or presentation method. See attached document for suggested questions for the various ride types.
Group One: Roller Coaster
Group Two: Flume
Group Three: Rotational Motion
Group Four: Free fall
Group Five: Pendulums
Analyze: How will students organize and interpret the data collected during the investigation?
Each group must investigate their chosen ride and design a safe and efficient ride for Fun Spot. Each ride type will have specific criteria to meet and questions about the design to answer. In addition, each group must provide a calculation showing the maximum speed and acceleration of the ride, and detailed explanations of how these were determined, using the specifications of their ride design. All groups must include at least one appropriate free body diagram, and at least two appropriate energy diagrams. Groups will present their results in an oral presentation with visuals of their choice (power points, brochures, etc.)
Individual Work: Each student must write an Individual Summary, including details from their group work. In addition, each student must write a Persuasive Letter to the Fun Spot's Board of Directors describing reasons a specific design should be chosen, including details from both their work AND other groups presentations.
Closure: What will the teacher do to bring the lesson to a close? How will the students make sense of the investigation?
Each group will present their findings and design. Each student will then write a persuasive letter using physics principles to explain why their design is the best.
See attached checklists for 1. Group Presentation 2. Individual Summary 3. Persuasive Letter
Also attached is a document with suggested grading criteria and lists of questions depending on the type of ride chosen by students (roller coasters, rotational motion rides, etc.). The teacher may require specific questions chosen from the list or may allow the students to select a required minimum number from the list. The list is a group of suggestions that may be modified as needed by the teacher.
Checklists for formative assessments. See attached documents. Teacher will periodically check student progress using evidence from the checklists.
Feedback to Students
Checklists for formative assessments. See attached documents. Students can self-check for progress using the checklists.