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Unit E1
Lab: Rubber Band Energy
Duration: Approximately 50 minutes
This lab is an investigation of the relationship between kinetic energy and potential energy. Students will measure the kinetic energy released by a stretched rubber band.
LEARNING OBJECTIVES
Students will look for an observable relationship between kinetic energy and potential energy.
Teacher Tips
Materials (per group)
Safety Checks
Teacher Tune-ups
Teaching Notes
ACTIVITY OVERVIEW
Set-up (10 minutes)
Have students work in pairs or small groups. They should agree how far to stretch the rubber band for each of the 3 conditions and then carefully extend the rubber band the determined distance. The lab requires that students conduct three trials for each condition. Students record how far the Styrofoam cup moves and calculate the mean movement for each condition.
You will need:
Here is how to cut a cup in half lengthwise:
Conduct tests and gather data (20 minutes)
Procedure:
Graph and discuss findings (20 minutes)
Line Graph
Bar Graph
Scatter Plot
After students determine the average for each condition, instruct students to display the data on a graph. Students could make a line graph, bar graph, or scatter plot. Hypothetical examples of each are provided. Traditionally the dependent (outcome) variables are graphed on the y axis.
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BETA Version - Please send comments and corrections to info@serpinstitute.org