Table of Contents for #01 Pendulums:
Preparation and Support
A TOPS Model for Effective Science Teaching Getting Ready Gathering Materials Sequencing Task Cards Gaining a Whole Perspective Long Range Objectives Review/Test Questions
Activities and Lesson Notes
- 1. Pendulum Box
- 2. Frequency
- 3. Length vs. Frequency
- 4. Period
- 5. Length vs. Period
- 6. Amplitude and Bob Weight
- 7. Boinggg!
- 8. Extrapolate
- 9. Square It
- 10. Pendulum Equation
- 11. Chain Links (1)
- 12. Chain Links (2)
- 13. Square Roots
- 14. Roll and Rock
- 15. Energy Bridge
- 16. Two-Pivot Pendulum
- 17. Conservation of Energy
- 18. Energy Curve
- 19. In Orbit
- 20. It's Refreshing
pendulum grid graph paper metric ruler disk with holes
Complete Master List for #01 Pendulums:
Key: (1st/2nd/3rd) denote needed quantities: (1st) enough for 1 student doing all activities; (2nd) enough for 30 students working in self-paced pairs; (3rd) enough for 30 students working in pairs on the same lesson. Starred* items may be purchased below.
- 1/10/10: cereal boxes (two pound Grape Nuts boxes are ideal)
- 2/20/20: cups gravel (sand or soil)
- * 1/5/5: rolls of masking tape
- 1/10/10: scissors
- * 1/2/2: spools thread
- * 2/20/20: washers sized to fit quarter-inch bolts
- * 1/2/3: boxes of paper clips of uniform size
- 1/1/1: wall clock with second hand (wrist watches)
- 1/1/010: stopwatches
- 1/10/10: hand calculators
- * 1/1/1: roll thin, bare iron wire, about 30 or 32 gauge
- 1/5/10: meter sticks
- 1/2/5: wire cutters
- 1/4/10: batteries, size-D, dead or alive
- * 1/4/10: clothespins
- 1/10/10: index cards (any straight edge)
- * 1/20/20: straws
- * 4/30/40: straight pins
- 1/10/10: 4 1/2 inch plastic lids from margarine tubs or coffee tins
- 1/2/5: paper punches
- 1/1/1: a working video screen
These are handy lab items to keep in stock. We use them as bulb holders, tongs, clips, and more.
size #1, steel, box of 100
Paper clips have 1001 uses in TOPS experiments, and science in general. Feel free to use paper clips you already have, but be aware that different brands come in different sizes and weights. In experiments where uniformity is important, don't mix brands.
steel, one and 1/16 inch long
Used in many TOPS experiments. Sometimes required for their magnetic properties. Don't purchase aluminum straight pins by mistake.
Straws - straight
Any length straw, between 0.20 and 0.25 inches in diameter is suitable. Grocery stores generally carry straws with flexible "elbows." You can use those if you cut off the bendable section before using.
Tape - masking
3/4 inch x 55 yd roll
A handy science supply used in most TOPS modules.
light duty, 25 yd spool
Just plain old thread. Used in many TOPS titles, especially in Pendulums #34.
Washers - small
7/8 inch flat washer with 3/8 inch hole
Used in many TOPS labs. Item #1290 (medium tubing) used in #16 Pressure fits through these smaller washers.
Wire - 32 gauge iron
A specialty item used in #01 Pendulums.
Teaching Tips for #01 Pendulums:
We encourage improvisation - it's one of the main goals of our hands-on approach! You and your students might invent a simpler, sturdier or more accurate system; might ask a better question; might design a better extension. Hooray for ingenuity! When this occurs, we'd love to hear about it and share it with other educators. Please send ideas and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
National Science Education Standards (NRC 1996) for #01 Pendulums:
These 20 Task Cards promote excellence in science teaching by these NSES criteria:
Teachers of science...
A: ...plan an inquiry-based science program. (p. 30)
B: ...guide and facilitate learning. (p. 32)
C: ...engage in ongoing assessment of their teaching and of student learning. (p. 37)
D: ...design and manage learning environments that provide students with the time, space, and resources needed for learning science. (p. 43)
These 20 Task Cards contain fundamental content as defined by these NSES guidelines (p. 109).
Represent a central event or phenomenon in the natural world.
Represent a central scientific idea and organizing principle.
Have rich explanatory power.
Guide fruitful investigations.
Apply to situations and contexts common to everyday experiences.
Can be linked to meaningful learning experiences.
Are developmentally appropriate for students at the grade level specified.
Unifying Concepts and Processes
NSES Framework: Systems, order, and organization Evidence, models and explanation Constancy, change, and measurement Evolution and equilibrium Form and function
Core Concepts/Processes: Explore change, constancy, measurement and pattern in pendulum systems. Study frequency variables that really matter (length); that don't matter (bob weight); that matter a little (amplitude).
Science as Inquiry (content standard A)
NSES Framework: Identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations. Design and conduct a scientific investigation. Use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data. Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and models using evidence. Think critically and logically to connect evidence and explanations. Recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions. Communicate scientific procedures and explanations. Use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.
Core Inquiries: Time Pendulums Measure Lengths Record Data Graph Variables Predict Frequency
Physical Science (content standard B)
NSES Framework: Motions and forces Transfer of energy Conservation of energy
Core Content: Explore how length, amplitude and bob weight affect pendulum frequencies and periods. Collect and graph data. Examine energy transfers.
Science and Technology (content standard E)
NSES Framework: Abilities of technological design Understanding about science and technology
Core Content: Study levers, pulleys, inclined planes, wheels and axles, and gears.