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Swings
Task with Student Directions
Contributed by: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO/SCASS)


TO THE STUDENT

Welcome to this science exercise. We hope that you will find it interesting and fun. Carefully read through these directions and the directions on the next page before you begin to work.

You may be part of a group for the first part of this exericse. Each group should carry out the experiment and collect the information together. But each student must record the information in his or her own booklet. Be sure to record the information exactly as you see it. After the information has been collected, each student should answer the questions alone.

After you have finished your experiment and have recorded all of the information, you will be asked to answer some questions about the experiment and the information you recorded. Your answers must be written in this test booklet in the space provided. Make sure that you understand each question before you begin to write. At any time while you are writing your answers, you may look back to the directions for the experiment and the information you collected. Be sure that your answers are written as clearly and neatly as possible.

Before you turn the page, read the list of materials given below and check to make sure that your group has everything listed.

Materials
  • 2 short pieces of string
  • 2 long pieces of string
  • 2 light washers
  • 2 heavy washers
  • 5 250mL measuringcups

AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE DIRECTIONS, TURN TO THE NEXT PAGE AND BEGIN.


Swings

Jodi and Eduardo like to play on swings. Jodi has a tire swing in her backyard. See Figure 1.

Jodi and Eduardo want to make the swing go faster. Can you help?

Step 1.

Make four swings using the string and washers. See Figure 2. Make sure that the strings for Swing A and Swing B are the same length. Make sure that the strings for Swing C and Swing D are the same length.

Step 2.

Tape the top of Swing A under a desk or table. Make sure it can swing freely. One member of the group should get ready to watch the clock.

Step 3.

When you are ready, pull the washer back a few inches to start it swinging back and forth. Let it swing on its own. How many times does the swing go back and forth in 15 seconds? Write your answer in the last column of the table below.

Step 4.

Repeat Steps and 3 for Swing B.

Step 5.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for Swing C.

Step 6.

Repeat Steps 2 and 3 for Swing D.

Students will work in groups of four, but each student will write the results in his or her own booklet.

Your Results

Swing
Length of string
Mass of washer
Number of swings per 15 seconds
A
short
light
 
B
short
heavy
 
C
long
light
 
D
long
heavy
 

Please return to your desk. You will be asked to answer some questions.


Questions


Please answer the following questions by yourself.

1. Which two swings go back and forth the fastest? What do the fastest two swings have in common? How do the fastest swings differ from the slowest two swings?

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2. Tell Jodi and Eduardo how to make Jodi's swing go faster. Tell them about the results of your experiment as you give your answer.

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