An energy model for motion and
Although you are a Muggle, you have made friends in the
wizarding community. One day your friends Ron and Ginny invite you over to
their house for dinner. They have a big family of eccentric witches and
wizards. In particular, their father Mr. Weasely is very intrigued by science. He
tells you that he recently learned about the muggle concept of energy. Mr. Weasely is excited, and
immediately starts to rant and rave to you about how it could be possible that
one single concept, energy, could be the explanation for how everything works. Mr. Weasely cannot
understand how in the world this can be, and asks you if energy is really just
magic, and if Muggles can do magic after all. Since you have developed an
energy-based model for motion and interactions in your science class, you offer
to explain it to Mr. Weasely:
“I can help you understand
energy Mr. Weasely! It’s not magic at all! I will tell you all about what we scientists
call a “model”– a set of assumptions and ideas about how the world works that
allows to explain a huge variety of observations. Our model is based on the concept of
energy. You see, energy is something
that objects have, and is something that can transfer from one object to
another object when they interact.
Another important idea about energy is that it has different forms. You
know how wizards use Galleons and Muggles use US Dollars or British Pounds? Galleons, Dollars and Pounds are all
different forms of money – just as kinetic energy, thermal energy, and
potential energy are different forms of energy.
Another idea about energy: each
form of energy has a particular way it can be observed. For example, an increase in an object’s
kinetic energy is observed by an increase in the speed of that object’s
motion. Finally, one more super
important idea about energy is that it is “conserved”! Don’t worry Mr. Weasely, I can explain all of
this to you! It is not magic, it is a
scientific model, that scientists invented based on the evidence from
In this paper, guide Mr. Weasely to an understanding of the energy-based
model for motion and interactions that you developed in Unit EM. Your
discussion should include some different sections:
It should include a
discussion of the qualitative – or conceptual – aspects of the model: energy
is situated in objects, the energy of an object can increase or decrease during
an interaction, energy can be transferred from one object to another in an
interaction, energy has different forms, each energy form has a specific
It should include a
discussion of the quantitative part of the model – the Law of Conservation of Energy.
It should include an
example in which you apply the model to explain an observation or event of some
type. This observation should be something we have not previously done. Try to come up with an example from an
“everyday Muggle situation” that Mr. Weasely would be interested in. The explanation you provide should follow our
“Scientific Explanations flow chart and check list” that was handout out in
Finally, your paper
should include a section that describes for Mr. Weasely some specific aspect of
the process of learning. You can draw on
what you did in our class that helped you learn science such as reading the
text, responding to questions, simulations, hands-on activities, group
activities, writing on small boards, helping others, presenting your ideas,…. Reflect on your own experience of how you came
to learn the energy-based model, and then relate one particular aspect of that
learning process to Mr. Weasely, to help him become a more effective learner
Write in complete sentences and paragraphs as you would for a
history essay. Make sure your writing is
clear and concise, and that it flows smoothly.
Diagrams can be an important part of your paper, but they should not
replace clear descriptions of observations and inferences. If you use diagrams, they should be clearly
labeled and referred to in the text of your paper. As you develop the model for
Mr. Weasely, you should describe the results of specific experiments that led
to particular ideas in the model. When presenting evidence from an experiment,
cite the relevant page(s) of your workbook.
Your paper should be 2 pages in length, not including diagrams (double
spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-pt font). However, this is only given as a
guideline. The right length depends on
your writing style and what you have to say.
Papers must be typed. Diagrams can be hand drawn, but should be neat
(use a sharp pencil, straight edge, etc. as needed). Submit your paper electronically via Blackboard.
(If your diagrams are hand-drawn, you can either scan your drawings or take a
picture of them, then add it to your paper or submit them individually.)
Grading: 20 points total
10 pts for the
development of the energy-based model for motion and interactions,
4 pts for use of the
model to explain a new example
3 pts for explaining
at least one specific aspect of the process of learning
3 pts for overall
clarity of writing, grammar, and spelling.
Rubric for development of the energy-based model for motion and
10 Key features
of the model are accurate and clearly explained. Supporting empirical evidence from
the workbook is presented. Relevance/connection of the evidence to specific
features of the model is explicitly explained. The objective is to show that
energy-based model is logically supported by empirical evidence.
8-9 Key features
are accurate and clearly explained. Relevant empirical evidence is
presented. However, the relevance of the evidence is not fully explained (i.e.,
the evidence not clearly linked to features).
6-7 Some key features
are missing OR inaccurate OR not clearly explained. Evidence is presented, but
the relevance of that evidence is not explained.
4 -5 Key features are
missing. Features present may be inaccurate or not clearly explained.
1-3 The presentation
has little to do with the energy-based model as developed in class.
Rubric for using the model to explain a new example:
4 A new and significant example is
provided. A complete, accurate, and
logical scientific explanation is provided (consistent with the flow chart
& checklist). The objective is to show how energy-based model enables you
to make sense of a new phenomenon.
3 An example is
provided. The explanation has some minor
2 An example is
provided. The explanation has a major
1 The exam is
incomplete or vague OR the explanation is not provided or is very
Rubric for learning reflection:
3 A specific aspect
or element of the learning process is articulated, and some supporting details
2 An aspect of the
learning process is mentioned, but may be articulated only vaguely, and/or
lacking in supporting details
1 The learning
process is at least mentioned.
Rubric for clarify of writing and grammar:
3 The sentences are
generally easy to read and understand. Paragraphs are used to organize ideas
effectively. There are up to 4 spelling errors, punctuation errors, or grammar
2 Some sentences are
hard to understand. The organization of
ideas in paragraphs is difficult to follow in places. There are 5-10 typos/errors.
1 The sentences are
in general difficult to understand, and the paper is in general poorly
organized. The are more than 10