This is an engaging, problem-based inquiry activity that gets your students to examine Conservation of Energy to solve a real-life problem and learn to think critically. Designed for science students in high school physics, this activity is NGSS, Common Core, and STEM-aligned and uses common experiences and materials to apply your lessons in a meaningful way. Your resource is fully-editable and can be uploaded to your class site or printed for students’ use.
– Apply concepts such as the work energy theorem and conservation of energy to solving a real world problem
– Develop a prototype and experimental procedures that can be used safely as a model for a real world scenario
– Work as engineers and “sell” an idea for a ride
– Conservation of Energy and Types of Energy
– Work and the Work-Energy Theorem
– Newton’s Laws (mostly Newton’s Second Law)
HS-PS3-1 Energy – Create a computational model to calculate the change in the energy of one component in a system when the change in energy of the other component(s) and energy flows in and out of the system are known.
HS-PS3-2 Energy – Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects).
HS-PS3-3 Energy – Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
HS-ETS1-2: Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
HS-ETS1-3: Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and tradeoffs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
This activity will motivate and engage your students and force them to think critically, analyze a common situation, apply what they’ve learned in a meaningful way, problem-solve and work collaboratively.
In this activity, your students’ job is to:
1) Apply what they have learned both inside and outside the classroom to solve the posed problem in the best way possible
2) Conduct their own research to decide if they need to learn anything else in order to solve the problem
3) Make sure they answer all the questions you asked them by collecting data and providing evidence and reasoning for their responses.
Your complete resource includes a student and teacher version. The student version contains the basic information they can use to design and carry out their experiment. The teacher version includes the answer key, look-fors as well as teacher tips tricks to make everything go smoothly.
Here are some additional PBLs you might be interested in.
If you have any questions, please send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org