# Conservation of Energy (Lab 3)

Contributor
University of Minnesota Physics Department
Type Category
Assessment Materials Instructional Materials
Types
Experiment/Lab Activity
Note
This resource, vetted by NSTA curators, is provided to teachers along with suggested modifications to make it more in line with the vision of the NGSS. While not considered to be “fully aligned,” the resources and expert recommendations provide teachers with concrete examples and expert guidance using the EQuIP rubric to adapted existing resources. Read more here.

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## Description

The resource (beginning on page 15) gives excellent background information that derives the equation for the conservation of energy of a falling object. Using that background as a guide, the resource then has the students perform an experiment with a PASCO cart on a track that is pulled by a falling mass. The experiment asks the students to determine the kinetic energy of the cart and compare it to the gravitational potential energy of the falling mass. From their results, the students are asked to state if energy is conserved.

Intended Audience

Educator and learner
Educational Level
Language
English
Access Restrictions

Free access - The right to view and/or download material without financial, registration, or excessive advertising barriers.

#### Performance Expectations

HS-PS3-2 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)

Clarification Statement: Examples of phenomena at the macroscopic scale could include the conversion of kinetic energy to thermal energy, the energy stored due to position of an object above the earth, and the energy stored between two electrically-charged plates. Examples of models could include diagrams, drawings, descriptions, and computer simulations.

Assessment Boundary: none

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

The resource could better meet the PE if it required students to produce diagrams, drawings, or descriptions that clearly showed the student’s understanding of the energy conversion taking place in this experiment. It does a good job of asking students to analyze their results and to extend their knowledge to another situation, but the instructor should be sure to ask the students to include diagrams, drawings, or descriptions of the energy conversion taking place in an effort to bring modeling more fully into the lesson.

HS-PS3-1 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.

Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on explaining the meaning of mathematical expressions used in the model.

Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to basic algebraic expressions or computations; to systems of two or three components; and to thermal energy, kinetic energy, and/or the energies in gravitational, magnetic, or electric fields.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this performance expectation.

The resource could better meet the PE if it required students to produce diagrams, drawings, or descriptions that clearly showed the student’s understanding of the energy conversion taking place in this experiment. It does a good job of asking students to analyze their results and to extend their knowledge to another situation, but the instructor should be sure to ask the students to include diagrams, drawings, or descriptions of the energy conversion taking place in an effort to bring modeling more fully into the lesson.

#### Science and Engineering Practices

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this science and engineering practice.

The experiment does a good job of addressing the Practices of Using Models and using Mathematics. It doesn’t address the development of a model, and it could address the Practice of Planning and Carrying Out an Investigation if the instructor allowed the students to develop their own procedures, including how much data to collect.

#### Disciplinary Core Ideas

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

The resource fully supports the DCI.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

The resource fully supports the DCI.

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this disciplinary core idea.

The resource fully supports the DCI.

#### Crosscutting Concepts

This resource is explicitly designed to build towards this crosscutting concept.