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Force Balance - Introduction to Force & Gravity

Lab Description

Force Balance - Introduction to Force & Gravity is a single-player lab in which every student in the classroom will run a simulated lab independently to learn about the concept of Force and Gravity. Students are given a fictitious job offer by Apex Cranes company and are hired as Application Engineers. The company is going to automate its cranes by creating new software. The software team needs to know the forces acting on the crane and a formula to find the position of the crane's counterweight that can balance the crane while lifting any load. The Team Lead has requested the students to learn about forces and the forces acting on a crane.


Students will run simulations and experiments to balance a lever and use the experiment data to create a generalized formula.


Students will be able to:

  1. Define force
  2. Categorize push and pull forces
  3. Balanced and Unbalanced forces
  4. Run simulations to balance three different levers
  5. Gather simulation results and analyze
  6. Write a mathematical formula to compute the balancing force
  7. Prepare a final written report for the Team Lead

This lab is suitable for classrooms and homework.

Who this course is for

Students studying in upper elementary and middle school can master the concept of Force, Simulations, and Data Analysis using this Lab.

Award Ceremony & Certificates

Every student will get a score based on how well they did in their worksheet activities, review questions, and the teacher's evaluation of students' design logs. Students will be ranked based on their scores.

The student's success is measured by running the final crane simulation activity. If the students learned the concepts well and built the correct formula for the counterweight position of the crane, the crane simulation would successfully lift the load.

Building Knowledge (105 Minutes)

Simple Machines, Force & Torque

A few survey questions to understand the current knowledge levels and interests of the students

Students will watch a video to understand the problem statement of the lab. The video will explain the job offer they have from Apex Cranes company and the need for learning force and gravity for their job role.

Students will read and understand what force is, answer the review questions, do worksheets to categorize force to push and pull, and write a design log about the forces they apply in daily life.

Students will watch a video to understand what is Balanced and Unbalanced force in the context of a lever, the video also talks about Gravity and Newton's First Law of Motion.

Students will do a worksheet activity to classify forces to Balanced or Unbalanced, find the direction of force and measure the resultant force.

The crane works similar to how a lever works. Students will run three experiments/simulations in this activity to balance the lever in three different situations and gather data from the experiment.

Students will understand what a data model is, why they have to build a data model, what model error is, different types of data models, and how to build a data model from given data. Students will also answer review questions based on the video.

Students will build three data models from the data they gathered from the three experiments they ran in the previous activity.

Students will write a design log to detail the concepts they learned in this phase of the lab.

Day 2

Students will watch a video explaining how to create a formula using the formula builder tool, and create a formula connecting the load to be lifted and the arm length of the crane.

Students will draft a final report to their team lead. The report should include

1) Definition of Force

2) Balanced and Unbalanced Force

3) Newton's First Law of Motion

4) Forces acting on a weighted balance

5) Experiences of running the 3 experiments

6) Role of Data Analysis

NGSS

AQDP-M1 - Science & Engineering Practices
Ask Questions & Define Problems

Ask questions that arise from careful observation of phenomena, models, or unexpected results, to clarify and/or seek additional information.

MOD-M1 - Science & Engineering Practices
Developing & Using Models

Evaluate limitations of a model for a proposed object or tool.

INV-M2 - Science & Engineering Practices
Planning & Carrying out Investigations

Conduct an investigation and/or evaluate and/or revise the experimental design to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence that meet the goals of the investigation.

DATA-M1 - Science & Engineering Practices
Analyzing Data

Construct, analyze, and/or interpret graphical displays of data and/or large data sets to identify linear and nonlinear relationships.

MATH-M2 - Science & Engineering Practices
Using Mathematics & Computational Thinking

Use mathematical representations to describe and/or support scientific conclusions and design solutions.

CEDS-M2 - Science & Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations & Designing Solutions

Construct an explanation using models or representations.

CEDS-M6 - Science & Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations & Designing Solutions

Apply scientific ideas or principles to design, construct, and/or test a design of an object, tool, process or system.

INFO-M1 - Science & Engineering Practices
Obtaining, Evaluating, & Communicating Information

Critically read scientific texts adapted for classroom use to determine the central ideas and/or obtain scientific and/or technical information to describe patterns in and/or evidence about the natural and designed world(s).

INFO-M5 - Science & Engineering Practices
Obtaining, Evaluating, & Communicating Information

Communicate scientific and/or technical information (e.g., about a proposed object, tool, process, system) in writing and/or through oral presentations.

PS2.A-E1 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Forces & Motion

Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object�s speed or direction of motion. (Boundary: Qualitative and conceptual, but not quantitative addition of forces are used at this level.)

PS2.A-M2 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Forces & Motion

The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion.

PS2.A-M3 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Forces & Motion

All positions of objects and the directions of forces and motions must be described in an arbitrarily chosen reference frame and arbitrarily chosen units of size. In order to share information with other people, these choices must also be shared.

PS2.B-E1 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Types of Interactions

Objects in contact exert forces on each other.

PS2.B-M2 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Types of Interactions

Gravitational forces are always attractive. There is a gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass (e.g., Earth and the Sun).

PS3.A-E1 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Definitions of Energy

The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses.

PS3.A-M1 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Definitions of Energy

Motion energy is properly called kinetic energy; it is proportional to the mass of the moving object and grows with the square of its speed.

PS3.A-M2 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Definitions of Energy

A system of objects may also contain stored (potential) energy, depending on their relative positions.

PS3.B-M1 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Conservation of Energy & Energy Transfer

When the motion energy of an object changes, there is inevitably some other change in energy at the same time.

ETS1.B-M4 - Disciplinary Core ideas
Developing Possible Solutions

Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions.

PAT-M4 - Cross-Cutting Concepts
Patterns

Graphs, charts, and images can be used to identify patterns in data.

Common Core: MATH

Expressions & Equations

Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers.

Expressions & Equations

Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities.

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Course Preview
  • Price per Classroom $9 99
  • Number of classrooms per license 5
  • Type Individual Activities
  • Duration 2 Hours
  • Activities 31
  • Ideal For Middle School,