SS Day 7: Friction

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

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The kids did a decent job with our coefficient of friction lab today. Given our comfort with Logger Pro, I can’t help but wonder if this would’ve been a better lab with the digital force sensors.

I’d love to add a self-checking or self-motivating factor to this lab. The kids calculate a coefficient of friction and turn in the lab. They have no idea if its right or even reasonable. Maybe next time, they’ll need to use the coefficient of friction they find to predict some testable value.

Stuff I wish could’ve or would’ve gone different: Due to the pace of summer school, I didn’t detail the differences between kinetic and static friction, so kids didn’t realize to look for the static force rather than the dynamic force when pulling. There’s a slight difference that makes for a cool discussion during the regular year. We also didn’t get to chat about how surface area is irrelevant in the friction discussion, which is always a great misconception to bust.

If this were a regular school year, we’d be somewhere in February. No wonder we all feel tired and are looking forward to a break next Friday for July 4th.

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