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"Battle of the Spheres"

Problem: Why do three different spheres roll down an inclined plane at different rates?

Hypothesis: ____________________________________________.

Materials: 3 marbles (Different sizes &/or weights), inclined plane, metric ruler, milk carton.

Procedure:

1. Get in groups of four to six, find a station with an inclined plane. Get a ruler!
2. Have one of your group members get a carton and three differently sized spheres.
3. Place the carton top at the end line drawn on the inclined plane.
4. Take the smallest sphere and roll it down the plane, without any added force.
5. After the sphere falls into the milk carton and moves it measure the distance the milk carton moved from the line. Repeat this process seven more times. Throw out the 3 lowest and 3 highest measurements and record the middle distance on the backside of this lab handout.
6. Repeat step #5 with the medium Sphere.
7. Repeat step #5 with the large Sphere.
8. Answer the conclusion questions as a group.

Data:

Small Sphere

 Trial Distance Traveled Average distance from the carton traveled-

Medium Sphere

 Trial Distance Traveled Average distance from the carton traveled-

Large Sphere

 Trial Distance Traveled Average distance from the carton traveled-

Conclusion Questions:

1. Which sphere moved the carton the farthest, Why?
2. Which sphere moved the carton the least, Why?
3. When, in the experiment, did the sphere have potential energy?
4. When, in the experiment, did the sphere have kinetic energy?
5. Which marble had the greatest potential energy?
6. Which marble had the least kinetic energy?