## About Energy on an Incline

Highly Recommended
Like all our Science Reasoning Center activities, the completion of the Energy on an Incline activity requires that a student use provided information about a phenomenon, experiment, or data presentation to answer questions. This information is accessible by tapping on the small thumbnails found on the bottom right of every question. However, it may be considerably easier to have a printed copy of this information or to display the information in a separate browser window. You can access this information from this page

The Standards
The Energy on an Incline 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 and a velocity-time graph. The five parts of this activity target a student's ability to make decisions regarding the design of the investigation, perform energy calculations from collected data, use an energy model to interpret the findings and to describe and explain the energy changes that are occurring, and to evaluate a collection of claims regarding energy associated with the phenomenon.

This NGSS-inspired task consists of five parts. Each part involves a different type of skill or understanding. Collectively, the five parts were designed to address the following NGSS performance expectation:

HS-PS3-2:
Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motions of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative positions of particles (objects).

As a whole, the questions in this task address a wide collection of disciplinary core idea (DCI), crosscutting concepts (CCC), and science and engineering practices (SEP). There are 56 questions organized into 14 Question Groups and spread across the five activities. Each question is either a 2D or (preferrably) a 3D question. That is, the task of answering the question requires that the student utilize at least two of the three dimensions of the NGSS science standards - a DCI, a CCC, and/or an SEP.

The following DCI, SEPs, and CCCs are addressed at some point within Energy on an Incline:

DCI:  PS3.A: Definitions of Energy
• Energy is a quantitative property of a system that depends on the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within that system. That there is a single quantity called energy is due to the fact that a system’s total energy is conserved, even as, within the system, energy is continually transferred from one object to another and between its various possible forms.
• At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as in motion, sound, light, and thermal energy.

DCI:  PS3.B: Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer
• Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.
• Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems.

SEP 2.3:  Developing and Using Models
Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system.

SEP 2.4:  Developing and Using Models
Develop and/or use multiple types of models to provide mechanistic accounts and/or predict phenomena, and move flexibly between model types based on merits and limitations.

SEP 3.1: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Plan an investigation or test a design individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence as part of building and revising models, supporting explanations for phenomena, or testing solutions to problems. Consider possible variables or effects and evaluate the confounding investigation’s design to ensure variables are controlled.

SEP 3.4: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
Select appropriate tools to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate data.

SEP 4.1: Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution.

SEP 5.3: Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Use mathematical, computational, and/or algorithmic representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations.

SEP 5.4: Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking
Apply techniques of algebra and functions to represent and solve scientific and engineering problems.

SEP 7.2: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Evaluate the claims, evidence, and/or reasoning behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments.

SEP 7.4: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Construct, use, and/or present an oral and written argument or counter-arguments based on data and evidence.

SEP 7.5: Engaging in Argument from Evidence
Make and defend a claim based on evidence about the natural world or the effectiveness of a design solution that reflects scientific knowledge, and student-generated evidence.

SEP 8.5: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically).

CCC 4.1Systems and System Models
When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.

CCC 4.3: Systems and System Models
Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.

CCC 5.2Energy and Matter
The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved.

CCC 5.3: Energy and Matter
Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.

CCC 5.4: Energy and Matter
Energy cannot be created or destroyed—it only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

CCC 7.1:  Stability and Change
Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.

Here is our NGSS-based analysis of each individual activity of the Energy on an Incline Science Reasoning task. The core ideas, crosscutting concepts, and science and engineering practices that we reference in our analysis are numbered for convenience. You can cross-reference the specific notations that we have used with the listings found on the following pages:

#### Part 1: Planning the Investigation

This activity consists of 20 forced-choice questions organized into five Question Groups. Students must ponder decisions regarding the design of a lab involving energy conservation for a cart moving along an inclined plane. Students earn the Trophy for this activity once they demonstrate mastery on all five Question Groups.

NGSS Claim Statement: Plan an investigation that produces data to serve as evidence for showing that energy is conserved between the designated initial and final times of the motion.

 Target DCI(s) Target SEP(s) Target CCC(s) Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer PS3.B Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system. Planning and Conducting an Investigation SEP 3.1 Plan an investigation or test a design individually and collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence as part of building and revising models, supporting explanations for phenomena, or testing solutions to problems. Consider possible variables or effects and evaluate the confounding investigation’s design to ensure variables are controlled. SEP 3.4 Select appropriate tools to collect, record, analyze, and evaluate data. Systems and System Models CCC 4.1 When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.

#### Part 2: Number Crunching

This activity consists of table of primary data for the Energy on an Incline investigation. Students must calculate the kinetic, potential and total energy of the system at four points along the inclined plane. Students earn the Trophy for this activity once they accurately complete all 12 calculations.

NGSS Claim StatementUtilize mathematical operations and tools to perform calculations of the various forms of energy in order to show that the total amount of energy of a system is conserved.

 Target DCI(s) Target SEP(s) Target CCC(s) Definitions of Energy PS3.A That there is a single quantity called energy is due to the fact that a system’s total energy is conserved, even as, within the system, energy is continually transferred from one object to another and between its various possible forms. Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer PS3.B Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system. Analyzing and Interpreting Data SEP 4.1 Analyze data using tools, technologies, and/or models (e.g., computational, mathematical) in order to make valid and reliable scientific claims or determine an optimal design solution. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking SEP 5.3 Use mathematical, computational, and/or algorithmic representations of phenomena or design solutions to describe and/or support claims and/or explanations. Energy and Matter CCC 5.2 The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. CCC 5.4 Energy cannot be created or destroyed—it only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

#### Part 3: Developing and Using an Energy Model

This activity consists of 12 forced-choice questions organized into four Question Groups. Use an energy model to analyze the energy data for the lab investigating the motion of a cart moving along an inclined plane. Students earn the Trophy for this activity once they demonstrate mastery on all five Question Groups.

NGSS Claim StatementUse a model of energy conservation and energy transfer to make predictions of changes in the various forms of energy of a system and explanations of the conditions that lead to energy transfers across the system boundary.

 Target DCI(s) Target SEP(s) Target CCC(s) Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer PS3.B Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.   Definitions of Energy PS3.A At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as in motion, sound, light, and thermal energy. Developing and Using Models SEP 2.3 Develop, revise, and/or use a model based on evidence to illustrate and/or predict the relationships between systems or between components of a system. SEP 2.4 Develop and/or use multiple types of models to provide mechanistic accounts and/or predict phenomena, and move flexibly between model types based on merits and limitations. Systems and System Models CCC 4.1 When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models. CCC 4.3 Models can be used to predict the behavior of a system, but these predictions have limited precision and reliability due to the assumptions and approximations inherent in models.

#### Part 4: Paragraph Completion

This activity consists of 20 forced-choice questions organized into five Question Groups. Students select words and phrases from a word bank to complete a paragraph in which they describe and explain in terms of energy the motion of the cart along the inclined plane. Students earn the Trophy for this activity once they accurate complete the 11 blanks in the paragraph.

NGSS Claim StatementUse scientific terms like kinetic energy and potential energy to construct a description and an explanation of the changes in the various manifestations of energy as a cart rolls up and down an incline.

 Target DCI(s) Target SEP(s) Target CCC(s) Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer PS3.B Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system.   Definitions of Energy PS3.A At the macroscopic scale, energy manifests itself in multiple ways, such as in motion, sound, light, and thermal energy. Engaging in Argument from Evidence SEP 7.4 Construct, use, and/or present an oral and written argument or counter-arguments based on data and evidence. Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information SEP 8.5 Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (including orally, graphically, textually, and mathematically). Energy and Matter CCC 5.2 The total amount of energy and matter in closed systems is conserved. Stability and Change CCC 7.1 Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable.

#### Part 5: Energy Beliefs

This activity consists of 12 forced-choice questions organized into three Question Groups. Students evaluate claims about energy and systems related to a cart moving along an incline and identify accurate scientific responses to such claims. Students earn the Trophy for this activity once they demonstrate mastery on all three Question Groups.

NGSS Claim StatementEvaluate claims and propose counter-claims and explanations regarding the conservation of and transfer of energy.

 Target DCI(s) Target SEP(s) Target CCC(s) Conservation of Energy and Energy Transfer PS3.B Conservation of energy means that the total change of energy in any system is always equal to the total energy transferred into or out of the system. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be transported from one place to another and transferred between systems. Engaging in Argument from Evidence SEP 7.2 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and/or reasoning behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. SEP 7.5 Make and defend a claim based on evidence about the natural world or the effectiveness of a design solution that reflects scientific knowledge, and student-generated evidence. Energy and Matter CCC 5.3 Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system. CCC 5.4 Energy cannot be created or destroyed—it only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.

Complementary and Similar Resources
The following resources at The Physics Classroom website complement the Energy on an Incline Science Reasoning Activity. Teachers may find them useful for supporting students and/or as components of lesson plans and unit plans.

The Physics Classroom Tutorial, Work, Energy and Power Chapter

Physics Video Tutorial, Work, Energy, and Power: Mechanical Energy Conservation

Physics Video Tutorial, Work, Energy, and Power: Force and System Analysis

Physics Interactives, Work and Energy: Roller Coaster Model

Physics Interactives, Work and Energy: Chart That Motion

Concept Builders, Work and Energy: What's Up and Down with KE and PE?

Concept Builders, Work and Energy: Words and Charts

Concept Builders, Work and Energy: LOL Charts

Concept Builders, Work and Energy: Energy Analysis 1

Minds On Physics, Work and Energy Module: Mission WE6, Energy Bar Charts

Minds On Physics, Work and Energy Module: Mission WE8, Energy Analysis

The Calculator Pad, Work, Energy, and Power: Problem Sets WE6 - WE14