Grades 9-12: Students find mass using three different methods apart from the conventional “weighing” technique, thus reinforcing the distinction between mass and weight.
PHYSICAL SCIENCES (Grades 9-12)
There are many misconceptions for students in the world of Physics and one of the most common is the relationship between weight and mass. Throughout a student’s high school science courses, the terms Mass and Weight are often used without regard to their actual conceptual meanings and the two become a gray area in the students’ mind. This confusion between Weight and Mass is carried with the student throughout high school until they enroll in a Physics course, where the distinction is made between the two terms.
In this lab, the student will determine the Mass of objects utilizing three different methods without the conventional “weighing” technique that is the usual protocol for finding Mass in the Physics classroom. Using Newton’s 1st and 2nd Laws, the Mass of the object(s) will be found by student experiment, rather than using a Newton scale. As a 4th exercise, students will use a hands-on technique to conceptualize Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation.
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