Science Reasoning Center - Circular Motion

There are three Circular Motion passages that target students' science reasoning abilities. They are ...
Weightlessness Training
10 Questions
This passage presents information regarding NASA's effort to train astronauts to become accustomed to weightless sensations. Information is presented in the form of a graph, a photo and a diagram. Questions target a student's ability to interpret a graph and a diagram in light of a body of text, to select data values from a graph, to identify conclusions that are consistent with a model, and to translate information from one graph to another graph.
Roller Coaster Loops
11 Questions
This passage presents data that compares a circular loop and a clothoid loop on a roller coaster, thus comparing the effect of loop shape, loop radius and initial drop height upon the speed and the G forces experienced by riders at the top and the bottom of the loops. Data is presented in the form of two figures and two data tables. Questions target a student's ability to identify the effect of one variable upon another variable, to compare data points from different tables, to interpolate and to extrapolate from data in a table, to draw conclusions that are consistent with the provided data, and to use provided data to evaluate the safety issues surrounding projected loop designs.
Kepler's Law of Harmonies
11 Questions
This information describes an activity in which students analyze period-radius data for the orbit of the (traditional) nine planets. The information is presented in the form of a data table and six different graphs of period and radius raised to various powers. Questions target a student's ability to understand the linear regression process, to recognize patterns in the data and graphs, to identify the relationship between the two variables, and to use the relationship to make predictions about the radius ratio or period ratio for planets in a fictional solar system.
On the Resource CD:
A Resource CD is being prepared to assist classroom teachers in using this section of the website more effectively within their classrooms. The Physics Classroom hopes to release the CD during the Fall semester of of 2014.

The Circular Motion section of the CD will include six different passages, including these three passages. The passages are accompanied by questions, answers with thorough explanations, and a table that associates each question with a specific science reasoning skill (or college readiness standard). Each passage includes considerably more questions than those presented here in the Science Reasoning Center. In addition to PDF files, the information on the CD is also available as Microsoft Word files, allowing teachers the ability to pick and choose questions from the large bank of questions associated with each passage.

More information about the CD can be found at the Resource CD page.