Rationale in Italics

This unit is designed to be a fun and interesting learning experience for students. The examples, projects, and labs are designed to relate the material to students' lives so that the topic has meaning. Students will get to see how they can use Physics to design a roller coaster, a skate park, and to calculate the power used by different house hold items to name a few. The activities give students a chance to see the material in front of then, instead of just abstractly in the book or on the board. In order to give students a more authentic scientific experience, there is a fun inquiry lab where students get to design and conduct an experiment using the theory they have learned. Students also get to design a rollercoaster using the Physics concept taught in previous lessons. Students learning was assessed with quizes, homeworks, a project, and a unit test, as well as formative assessment during discussions and lessons. By having students participate in discussion-type lessons and working with the teacher to derive equations and solve problems, the teacher gets to assess how comfortable students are with the material. Lessons use students prior knowledge to help them understand the new material. By having students distinguish between everyday definitons and Physics definitons and having them derive equations using what they know, we add to their prior knowledge. Students also get to use some topics previously covered in the calss to help them with the new material, for example the Hooke's Law Lab. Students experiences with roller coasters and household items that use power will also be used to help students understand the new material.
The sequence of this unit is designed to be very straight forward. Starting with work, we relate it to forces which have already been covered in the class. The students then learn the first type of energy, kinetic energy and how it connects with work. Then, another main type of energy is introduced, potential energy. Once students are familiar with these, students are introduced to Conservation of Energy so that they may see how the different types of energy relate. Finally, power is introduced, to show what the rate of work is. This is separated from work to minimize confusion. Labs are mixed into this sequence of lessons to fit the sequence of topics and provide variety in what the students do each day. The labs support the other lessons and the project is added at the end to wrap-up and tie everything together.
The teacher will help students make sense of the material by giving them multiple representations of the material. Students get examples, and activites to help them understand the concepts. They not only get to work out problems, they get to derive the neccessary equations for it. This helps students better understand what they are doing when they are performing calculations because they know where the equations came from. Another idea that will help students with the material, is applying it to common situations and using real-life examples. This will help students relate material to what they know. Combining all these elements will help make this unit a successful learning expereience.



ENERGY





Purpose of Unit:

This unit is designed to show students another way to analyze complex physical situations. Scientists often turn to energy to examine a situation because the forces involved are too complex. This unit will help students see this, and learn how to calculate and use energy to understand what is going on in a given situation. Students will be engaged by using a variety of teaching methods. Students will participate in labs, activities, and projects, as well as lectures and discussions. By varying the tasks, students will be excited to witness material hands on and through multiple representations. Students will also get to see how the material relates to their life through example problems, activities, homework and projects. The problems and topics are carefully chosen so that students get real-life examples, not just abstract ideas. Students will get to do fun activites, like measuring the power usage of different household items and designing a roller coaster. Through the use of all of these techniques, students will not only learn the material, they will be excited by the Physics involved.

Concept Map: external image bmp.png Concept Map.bmp


Learning Outcomes:

Student Learning Goals

The goals of this unit are:
  • to teach students the different forms of energy and how they relate
  • to teach students how to accurately determine energies of a given system
  • to teach students about work and power and how these terms relate to the everyday definition and the Physics definiton of the terms
  • to teach students the Law of Conservation of Energy
  • to teach students how their previous knowledge about force and other topics relates to work, energy, and power
  • to help students better understand how scientific research is conducted by having them design and conduct experiments

Learning Performances

Students should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the difference between the everyday definition of work and the Physics definition of work. They should be able to calculate the work done in a given situation. Students should be able to identify and describe the different types of energy and how energy is transformed from one tyep to another. They should be able to identify the types of energy involved in a situation and calculate their values. They should also be able to explain the Law of Conservation of Energy and apply it to solve for different variables. Students should be able to explain the difference between the everyday definition of power and the Physics definition of Power. They should be able to calculate the power in a situation and explain how power relates to work. Students should be able to explain how previous topics they have covered, such as force, relate to work, energy, and power. Students should be able to collect and analyze data, as well as use theory to design a procedure to test a specific variable. Students should be able to organize data and efficiently conduct scientific investigations.

Content Standards

P4.1 Energy Transfer: Moving objects and waves transfer energy from one location to another. They also transfer energy to objects during interactions (e.g., sunlight transfers energy to the ground when it warms the ground; sunlight also transfers energy from the Sun to the Earth).

Performance Expectations:

  • Essential:
    • Account for energy transfer and be able to construct energy transfer diagrams.
    • Be able to explain energy transfer by waves and moving massive objects.

  • Core:
    • Explain how "work" as it is defined in physics is different from "work" as it is defined ineveryday life.
    • Calculate the amount of work done in moving an object from one point to another.
    • From the formula for work, derive a formula for the change in potential energy when an object is elevated by a distance h.

P4.2 Energy Transformation: Energy is often transformed from one form to another. The amount of energy before a transformation is equal to the amount of energy after the transformation. In most energy transformations, some energy is converted to thermal energy.

Performance Expectations:

  • Essential:
    • Account for and represent energy transfer and transformation in complex processes.
    • Name devices that transform certain types of energy into other types
    • Explain how energy is conserved in common systems.
    • Explain how not all energy in gasoline is transformed into mechanical energy in a vehicle.
    • Explain the energy transformation as an object falls at a steady velocity.
    • Show energy conservation in simple systems by identifying and labeling energy inputs, outputs, and transformations using qualitative or quantitative representations of simple systems.

P4.3 Kinetic and Potential Energy: Moving objects have kinetic energy. Objects experiencing a force may have potential energy due to their relative positions (e.g., lifting an object or stretching a spring, energy stored in chemical bonds). Conversions between kinetic and gravitational potential energy are common in moving objects. In frictionless systems, the decrease in gravitational potential energy is equal to the increase in kinetic energy or vice versa.

  • Essential:
    • Identify the form of energy in given situations.
    • Describe the transformation between potential and kinetic energy in simple mechanical systems.
    • Explain why all mechanical systems require an external energy source to maintain their motion.

  • Core:
    • Rank the amount of kinetic energy from highest to lowest of everyday examples of moving objects.
    • Calculate the changes in kinetic and potential energy in simple mechanical systems (e.g., pendulums, roller coasters, ski lifts) using the formulas for kinetic energy and potential energy.
    • Calculate the impact speed (ignoring air resistance) of an object dropped from a specific height or the maximum height reached by an object (ignoring air resistance), given the initial vertical velocity.

Assessment Program:



This unit will rely heavily on assessment, both throughout the unit as well as at the end. The lessons will include a steady amount of formative assessment as well as more summative assessment in terms of the quiz and test. Nearly every day will involve some sort of assessment, whether it is a worksheet, homework from the book, or a lab write-up. Another form of summative assessment can be found in the unit project. This project will allow the students to synthesize the ideas they have learned, and will need to demonstrate that they have in fact learned them, thus giving the instructor one more opportunity to assess understanding before the test. The more common form of assessment in our lessons is more formative in nature. From directed and scaffolded questioning in lecture/discussion to smaller group activities, the students will be steadily assessed on their grasp of the material by the instructor.

A variety to assessments will be used in order to more accurately gauge students' understanding. Both formative and summative will e used throughout. Theses assessments come in a variety of forms so that students get different experiences and they are assessed at different levels.

Class: Honors Physics
Unit: Energy

Day 1: Work

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Calculate the amount of work done against gravity by lifting an object.
  2. Differentiate physics definition from real world definition.
  3. Understand the difference between conservative and nonconservative forces and how they deal with net work.
Time (minutes):
0-5: Bell work problem that asks the students to write out a definition of “work”.
5-10: Take volunteers’ answer to the definition of work.
10-30: Define work as it relates to physics, quantitatively and qualitatively. Work out various examples with explanations. Be sure to include examples of when work is zero.
30-45: Have students complete a short worksheet dealing with work in various activities and circumstances.
45-50: Bring class back together and work through worksheet as a class, answering any questions as they come up.

Work is a difficult concept for students because they are already familier with an everyday definition of it. Therefore, this lesson will specifically address this and give both definitons. By having the students first write out a definition their prior knowledge is activated. Then we can show students how the PHysics definition relates to their everyday definition.

Assignment:
1. Students will complete a worksheet in class, not to be immediately turned in.

Activity Materials Needed: None

Resources for lesson: 83 copies of in-class worksheet, blackboard/whiteboard, calculators.


Day 2: Kinetic Energy and Work-Kinetic Energy Theorem

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Calculate the amount of kinetic energy from a given amount of work done, and vice versa.
  2. Understand real life applications of kinetic energy coming from work

Time (minutes):
0-5:
Bell work problem reitterating the important concept of physics work vs real life work. Calculate the net work done by bench pressing 225 lbs 17 times, assuming that the weightlifter's arm to chest distance is 1/2 meter.
5-10: Discuss the bell work problem, ask why students spent so much time doing such a simple problem? They should have been able to look at the problem and sit back in their chairs because the answer was zero. Ask why the net work is zero, even though the guy is obviously doing "work".
10-35: Introduce the concept of kinetic energy, both quantitatively and qualitatively. Then discuss how it relates to the work done on a system. Arrive at the work-kinetic energy theorem. Work through various examples of finding kinetic energy both from knowing an objects velocity, as well as knowing how much net work was done on it.
35-45: Allow students an opportunity to begin their homework that will cover both work and kinetic energy.
45-50: Pick out one of the earlier problems in the assignment and work it out on the board by having students offer tips on solving the problem

This lesson introduces kinetic energy and allows students to derive the work energy theorem. By having students work with the teacher to derive it, they get a better understanding of not only the theorem, but where it came from. This helps them understand it and remember it. It also shows how kinetic energy and work relate. This method will also keep students engaged as they help in deriving the formula and working through problems..

Assignment: Textbook problems from chapter 6:

Activity materials needed: None

Resources for lesson: Blackboard/whiteboard, textbooks, calculators

Day 3: Potential Energy (Gravitational, Spring)

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Calculate Gravitational Potential Energy and the potential energy stored in a spring.
  2. Calculate the change in Potential Energy during a given period
  3. Rank situations according to Potential Energy.

Time (minutes):
0-5: Bell work problem that asks the students to write out a definition of "potential" and how that could relate to energy.
5-10: Take volunteers’ answer to the definition of potential and its relationship to energy. Give the dictionary definition and see how students think it relates to energy.
10-45: Introduce the concept of potential energy showing students how their definitions and the dictionary definition relate to the actual definition of potential energy. Discuss both qualitatively and quantitatively, graviational potential energy and potential energy stored in a spring. Work through various examples in a discussion-type format.
45-50: Allow students an opportunity to begin their homework that will cover both gravitational potential energy and the potential energy stored in a spring. Students may work in groups of no more than four. Answer student questions as they work.

The bell work problem is designed to help students understand what potential energy is. It will help students relate their everyday definition with the Physics definition in terms of energy. The discussion-type format allows students to be engaged and participate in the lesson. It lets students explain the concepts and allows for formative assessment for the teacher and the students.

Assignment: Textbook problems from chapter 6:

Activity materials needed: None

Resources for lesson: Blackboard/whiteboard, textbooks, calculators

Day 4: Hookes Law Lab

Detailed lesson plan

This lesson is designed to show students how previous material covered in the class relates to the current material. Students get to do an interesting hands-on activity where they use their knowledge of Hooke's Law to find the potential energy stored in a spring at several points. The lab also shows students how different variables relate and tests students analysis of data and graphs.

Day 5: Conservation of Mechanical Energy

Detailed lesson plan

This demonstration lab is designed to review the types of energy covered in the unit thus far and tie them together. It gives the students a chance to review the material and learn Conservation of Energy. The topic is introduced in terms of a roller coaster so that students can relate the material to a familiar, real-life situation. The students also get to play with a fun simulation. This will engage students and let them relate the material to another real-life situation.


Day 6: Conservation of Mechanical Energy Inquiry Lab

Detailed lesson plan

This inquiry lab is a fun activity that gives students a more authentic scientific experience. Students get to design a procedure and implement it. With teacher guidance, the students get to work through the problem using their knowledge of the concepts. Not only is this lab important because it gives students an inquiry experience, it reviews the material covered in the unit and lets students apply conservation of energy to a real situation.

Day 7: Mid-Unit Assessment (Quiz)

Detailed lesson plan
If there is time left in class after the assessment, the quiz will be graded by the students in class and the teacher will go over any questiosn students have.

This quiz is designed to assess how well students understand the material up to this point. After doing the lab, students should have a good understanding of the material. This assessment will help the teacher gauge how comfortable they are with it as well as give the students feedback. The students will be able to see how well they understand the material so that they can better prepare for the unit test.

Day 8: Power

Detailed lesson plan

Power is placed at the end of the lesson so that it is separate from the topic of work. It is easy for students to be confused by work and power because power is the rate of work done. Placing power at the end will help students distinguish the two concepts. This lesson is designed to help students understand the difference between the Physics definition of power and the everyday definition of power. Students will help derive an equation for power so that they better understand what power is and what the equation means. The activity will give students a hands-on experience with the topic and keep students engaged by varying the activity.

Day 9: Power Lab

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Understand the power usage of various household items, such as refrigerators, TV's, toasters, computers, etc.
  2. Understand that some items "use up" more energy than others

Time(minutes):
0-5:
Bell work problem dealing with the concept of power they had learned about the previous day. A refrigerator is able to remove 12 kJ of energy per hour. Find the power it would need to run at that rate (assuming all power goes into cooling off the inside compartment), Followed by a quick discussion.
5-10: Demonstrate how the power measuring apparatus works so there is no question when the lab begins.
10-45: Students will begin work on lab, measuring the power of various appliances at different stations throughout the room. The stations will include: Refrigerator, Toaster, Television, Computer, Lamp, clothing iron, and a dehumidifier.
45-50: Bring students back and synthesize the data they had collected. Which item used up the most energy? Which item used the least?

This lab is designed to let students apply what they have learned to a real-life situation. Students get to measure the power of common devices and see how they compare. It is a ninteresting activity that will ehlp solidify students understanding of the material.

Assignment: Students will complete a lab report worksheet for homework.

Activity materials needed: 7 watt-meters, mini fridge, lamp, TV, computer, clothes iron, dehumidifier, worksheets

Lesson materials needed: Blackboard/whiteboard, activity materials, and 83 copies of lab worksheet.

Day 10: Roller Coaster Design Project

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Use Conservation of Energy, kinetic, and potential energy to design a rollercoaster that obeys the laws of Physics.
  2. Design and test a their rollercoaster.
  3. Analyze their data and results according to Physics principles.
  4. Explain the losses of energy to heat due to friction.

This project is designed as a culminating activity for the unit. It will tie together many of the important aspects of the unit and help students apply them to a fun and interesting activity. The project should act as a review before the unit test and help students identify areas of confusion as they design a roller coaster using the theory they should know be comfortable with. Each day students will need to complete a portion of the project in order to keep students on task. The project should be a fun and engaging application of the material, demonstrating how Physics influences real life.

Time (minutes):
0-5: Bell work problem dealing with rollercoasters. Have students write down important characteristics and traits they think of when they imagine a rollercoaster (for example, they always start with a hill), and how they relate to Physics. Why would rollercoaster designers want to use these Physics Principles?
5-20: Review and discuss the section " Introduction to How Roller Coasters Work," in the article below.
Article
20-25: Handout Rubric for project and fo over it. Answer any student questions. Divide the class into groups of 3-4.
25-45: Students will begin work on their project. They should design their rollercoaster and begin calculations. They must calculate the gravitational potential energy at the top of each hill, the amount of gravitational potential energy lost between each hill, the kinetic energy at the bottom of each hill and the velocity at those locations. Once they have finalized their design, it must be initialed.
45-50: Review the important points to consider during the project. Check each group to see that they have made progress on their project and inital their work. In order to receive credit, students must show that they were on task during class.

Assignment: Students may continue to work on their project at home, but there is no assigned homeowrk.

Activity materials needed: 8 Tennis balls, 96 pieces of cardboard (70 cm × 200 cm), scissors, meterstick, glue, calculators

Resources for lesson: Blackboard/whiteboard, calculators, 83 copies of the project rubric

Day 11: Continue Project

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Use Conservation of Energy, kinetic, and potential energy to design a rollercoaster that obeys the laws of Physics.
  2. Design and test a their rollercoaster.
  3. Analyze their data and results according to Physics principles.
  4. Explain the losses of energy to heat due to friction.

Time (minutes):
0-5:
Review goal for students for day two of project. Make sure students understand what they need to accomplish in order to receive credit for their work.
5-45: Students work on their project. They should finish up their calculations and work on building their roller coaster. Students may build the track but not test if their tennis ball can complete the coaster. Once they have had their design initialled, they may not change it.
45-50: Review students of the time constraint on the project and initial their work.

Assignment: Students may continue to work on their project at home, but there is no assigned homework.

Activity materials needed: 8 Tennis balls, 96 pieces of cardboard (70 cm × 200 cm), scissors, meterstick, glue, calculators

Resources for lesson: Blackboard/whiteboard

Day 12: Continue Project

Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. Use Conservation of Energy, kinetic, and potential energy to design a rollercoaster that obeys the laws of Physics.
  2. Design and test a their rollercoaster.
  3. Analyze their data and results according to Physics principles.
  4. Explain the losses of energy to heat due to friction.

Time (minutes):
0-5:
Go over Schedule for today with students so that they are aware of how much time they have to complete their project.
5-30: Students finish building roller coaster and any calculations. Students may build the track but not test if their tennis ball can complete the coaster. Once they have had their design initialled, they may not change it.
30-42: Roller Coaster contest. Test each group's roller coaster. Students must release the tennis ball from the top of their first hill and see if it can complete the track. The group that completes the track with the greatest total height of the three hills is the winner. Each group must record what they observe when testing their roller coaster.
42-50: Go over the requirements for the Analysis of students' roller coasters. Each student must answer questions listed on the rubric and turn them in with the group's work the following day. Stress the importance of using Physics to understand their results.

By making the project a competition, students will be more motivated to create a coaster that uses Physics to achieve the desired results. The analysis will allow students to apply the material and act as a good review for the test.

Assignment: Students must write up an analysis of what they observed when testing their coasters using several questions outlined on the rubric. There will also be questions that extend the material and apply what students have learned to other situations.

Activity materials needed: 8 Tennis balls, 96 pieces of cardboard (70 cm × 200 cm), scissors, meterstick, glue, calculators

Resources for lesson: Blackboard/whiteboard

Day 13: Unit Test


Instructional Objectives: Students should be able to:
  1. demonstrate their quantitative and qualitative knowledge of Energy, Work, and Power
  2. recall, analyze, and apply concepts in many different forms, such as multiple choice and short answer.

Time (minutes):
0-5:
Pass out scantrons, copy of test facing down, and go over the directions for the test with the students. At this time, point out any errors that may have been discovered in the test. Make them aware of the multiple test forms going around, making sure they place the tests in the correct pile when they are done.
5-50: Students will take the unit test, turn it in when the finish, and sit quietly while the rest of the class finishes theirs.

Assignment: Students will be asked to read the introductory section to the next unit.

Activity materials needed: 30 class copies of test (not to be written on), 83 Scantron forms w/ short answer section.

Resources for lesson: Blackboard/whiteboard, Scantron grader, test key

This is a summative assessment that will test students knowledge of the material. Scantrons will be used to ease grading so that students receive more immediate feedback.

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