Science Reasoning Center - Energy

There are three Energy passages that target students' science reasoning abilities. They are ...
Energy on an Inclined Plane
12 Questions
This passage describes an experiment in which students use a motion detector to study the changes in the kinetic and potential energy of a cart that rolls up and down an inclined plane. Information is presented in the form of a position-time graph, a velocity-time graph, a figure and a table. Questions target a student's ability to read values off of graphs, to use information from one graph to answer questions about another graph or a table, to draw conclusions that are consistent with the presented data, and to use presented data to predict the result of performing an additional trial.
Hot Wheels Stopping Distance
13 Questions
This passage describes an experiment in which students release a Hot Wheels car from various locations along an inclined track and measure its speed at the bottom and the distance it slides upon hitting a box. Data is presented in the form of two figures and a data table. Questions target a student's ability to understand an experimental design, to identify the effect (both qualitatively and quantitatively) of one variable upon another variable, to combine information from two figures or a figure and a table to make predictions and draw conclusions, to extrapolate from data in a table or a figure, and to use provided data to evaluate a claim.
The Bat-Ball Collision
13 Questions
This passage describes a spring model for explaining the collsion between a bat and ball in baseball. Two graphs, an equation and a diagram are used to present information about the transfer and the transformation of energy that occurs during the collision. Questions target a student's ability to make predictions based on an equation, to select values from a graph, to reason towards conclusions that are consistent with a model, and to combine information from two data presentations in order to identify an appropriate conclusion.
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 Energy section of the CD will include seven 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.