Investigating Motion, Forces, and Energy Lab Book

Investigating Motion, Forces, and Energy Lab Book

Course(s)/Subject(s): 8th Grade Science

Grade Level(s): 8

Key Words: Motion/Speed/Distance/Graphs

Developer(s) Name: Donna Moulton

School: Lake Braddock Middle School

Approximate Time Frame: 2 periods-1 for experiment, 1 for computer lab

Materials/Equipment Needed:Same equipment used for Keep On Truckin'Lab except students should bring two toy trucks, cars, or balls (i.e. tennis, pingpong, golf balls) from home.

Description of Lesson (includes context):This lesson will be used as an assessment after completion of the first two labs Graphing Your Motionand Keep on Truckin' in the Investigating Motion, Forces, and Energy Lab Book.The students will design their own experiment following the pattern of these two labs to measure the average speed of two different objects (i.e. two different cars, balls, trucks). They will use the computer to construct two graphs and to write a conclusion for their experiment.


  1. What is the objective of this lesson? Create and interpret time/distance and speed/distance graphs utilizing computer technology.

FCPS POS Standards: Standards #1, #2, #3

FCPS POS Benchmarks: Benchmark 8.1.8, 8.2.2-3, 8.3.1-2, 8.3.1-3

FCPS POS Indicators: Indicators 8.1.8-1, 8.1.8-2, 8.1.8-3

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology): C/T8.1



  1. What will we examine as evidence of students' knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s):Students will create two graphs, and write a conclusion.

Performance(s): Students will conduct an experiment using Experimental Design Process, gather data, make two graphs and write a conclusion.


Page 1 of 2


  1. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson?

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. You are to conduct an experiment similar to the one we just completed in Keep On
    . You are to use two of the items you brought from home, i.e. two different
    trucks, cars, balls, etc.
  2. Measure the time it takes for these items to travel 5 meters. Calculate the average
    speed. In the next class period, you will make a distance/time graph on the computer
    for these two items.
  3. Measure the time it takes the items to pass each 1.0 m mark on the runway. Calculate
    the average speed at each interval. In the next class period, you will make a graph
    comparing the average speed of the items to the distance at each marker.
  4. You will make two graphs using the program designated by your teacher.
  5. You will write a conclusion explaining the results of your experiment and graphs.
  6. You will import the two graphs into the document with your conclusion.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson:

  1. Before doing this assessment activity, students should have completed the first two labs
    in the Investigating Motion, Forces, and Energy Lab Book.The same
    equipment set up can be used to do this activity. They should have constructed and
    discussed the graphs for both of these lab activities. Several reinforcement activities
    (graphing, time/distance, speed/distance graphs) from the textbook should also be done
    prior to this activity.
  2. To evaluate the products from this activity, use the rubrics for Graphsand Conclusions
    provided in the Investigating Matter and Energy Teacher's Guide.
  3. Graphs can be made using either ClarisWorks or Graphical Analysis.


  1. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicator(s)?

Students could create spreadsheets and then make graphs from their spreadsheets. Students who need more reinforcement could create graphs by hand on graph paper, then go to the computer lab to do their final copies.