SCIENCE OF GOLF: Friction and Spin - STEM Lesson Plan (Grades 6-12) Print

Objective:

Students will investigate questions about friction and spin when the head of the golf club strikes the golf ball, and how the design of both the club head and golf ball impacts play.


Introduction Notes:

Science of GOLF

Friction and Spin

STEM Lesson Plan adaptable for Grades 6–12

Lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association.

Video produced by NBC Learn in partnership with the USGA and Chevron.

 

Background and Planning Information............................................................ 2

About the Video........................................................................................................................... 2

Video Timeline ............................................................................................................................ 2

Next Generation Science Standards............................................................................................ 2

 

Promote STEM with Video............................................................................. 3

Connect to Science...................................................................................................................... 3

Connect to Technology................................................................................................................ 3

Connect to Engineering............................................................................................................... 3

Connect to Math.......................................................................................................................... 4

 

Facilitate ENGINEERING Inquiry..................................................................... 4

Explore Understanding................................................................................................................ 4

Ask Beginning Questions............................................................................................................. 5

Design Investigations................................................................................................................... 5

            Possible Materials........................................................................................................... 5

            Open Choice Approach.................................................................................................... 6

            Focused Media Research Approach................................................................................ 7

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence............................................................................................. 8

Compare Findings........................................................................................................................ 8

Reflect on Learning..................................................................................................................... 8

Inquiry Assessment...................................................................................................................... 8

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan........................................................ 9

Integrate Video in Instruction...................................................................................................... 9

            Real-World Connections.................................................................................................. 9

            Compare/Contrast........................................................................................................... 9

            Using the 5E Approach?................................................................................................... 9

Connect to Physical Education..................................................................................................... 9

Connect to Auto Mechanics......................................................................................................... 9

Use Video as a Writing Prompt................................................................................................. 10

 

Copy Masters .............................................................................................. 10

Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students................................................................................... 10

Focused Media Research Guide for Students............................................................................ 12

Assessment Rubrics for Inquiry Investigations.......................................................................... 13

 

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Background and Planning Information

 

About the Video

This video discusses the importance of being able to impart spin to a golf ball, and how friction with the club head is the force that makes this possible. It also discusses the role played by the grooves on the club face: they channel away water and grass which would otherwise reduce the frictional force. It features interviews with Matt Pringle and Jim Hubbell, both research engineers with United States Golf Association (USGA), and with professional golfer Drew Weaver. The video includes high-speed (10,000 frames per second) photography clearly showing the effect of the grooves on the amount of spin imparted to the ball.

 

Video Timeline

0:00     0:15     Series opening

0:16     0:29     Introducing the importance of spin on the golf ball

0:30     0:53     Drew Weaver discussing the need to be able to control spin

0:54     1:06     Matt Pringle emphasizing the role of backspin

1:07     1:35     High-speed video of a ball’s contact with the club, and Jim Hubbell’s explanation

1:36     2:11     Interaction of the grass, club, and ball, and description of score lines, or grooves

2:12     2:42     Analogy between grooves and tire treads

2:42     3:02     High-speed video of how grooves work

3:03     3:17     Explanation of how the ball would interact with a smooth clubface

3:18     3:44     Summarizing the value of spin control

3:45     4:03     Closing credits

 

Language Support: To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste the text into a document for student reference.

 

Next Generation Science Standards

Consider the investigation described in Facilitate ENGINEERING Inquiry section as part of a summative assessment for the following performance expectations. Refer to a NGSS document for connected Common Core State Standards for ELA/Literacy and Mathematics.

Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

MS-PS2-1.  Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.

HS-PS2-1.  Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration.

HS-PS3-3. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.

 

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Promote STEM with Video

 

Connect to Science

Friction is the force exerted by one surface on another surface, in a direction parallel to the surfaces, but in the opposite direction of the applied force. Like other forces, it is a science concept, described in the branch of physics called dynamics (the study of forces and their effects). Students taking physics may have also learned about torque, which is the rotational analog of force: in the case of a golf ball, friction supplies the torque needed to get the ball spinning.

 

Take Action with Students

         Students will likely have learned Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion. Have students state and explain these laws, providing examples of their application.

         Have students rub their hands together, with the right hand moving away from the body. Ask them to tell the direction of the frictional force exerted on the left hand by the right hand. Then have them place a pencil between their hands, so that it spins when they repeat the motion. Ask them to identify the force (and its direction) that caused the pencil to spin. Finally, have them repeat this with the pencil lying in the upward facing right palm. Have them thrust the hand outward and observe the resulting spin of the pencil. Once again, ask them to identify the force (again, friction) that caused the pencil’s rotation.

         Have students simulate (in slow motion) an actual 9-iron, or similar club face, striking a golf ball, so they can see just how the spin is imparted by the club face.

         If students have learned about torque, have them describe the origin of the torque that makes the ball spin. They might even use segments of the video, in which the ball is shown spinning, to estimate the amount of torque applied to the ball by the club face. (Note: this requires gathering of other information, such as the radius and rotational inertia of the golf ball, as well as the contact time between the club face and the ball).

 

Connect to Technology

While the technology of manufacturing grooves on a club face is not particularly complex, students may be rightly impressed by the technology involved in recording 10,000 frames per second to document what happens when a club face strikes a ball.

 

Take Action with Students

The USGA recently changed their rules regarding the shape of the grooves on the shortest irons, or wedges. Use the Focused Media Research Approach in the Facilitate Engineering Inquiry as a basis for student efforts. Encourage students to debate the USGA’s recent ruling or a statement such as Players should be able to use whatever technology enhances their game.

 

Connect to Engineering

The engineering design process involves identifying problems and developing solutions, usually as part of an ongoing cycle of innovation. The design of the club face with grooves involves testing different depths and spacing of the grooves to find which combinations work best.

 

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Take Action with Students

         Ask students to identify variables involving grooves (such as depth, width, and spacing) that might be relevant. Have them describe a process that would enable engineers to determine the most effective combinations.

 

Connect to Math

Math, in the form of elementary algebra and vectors, is involved in calculations involving friction in at least two ways. First, the magnitude (or strength) of the frictional force (or at least its maximum value) is generally directly proportional to the normal force, or force exerted on the ball in a direction perpendicular to the club face. Second (and more appropriate for older students), the frictional force can be thought of as one vector component of an overall force on the ball; the other component is the normal force.

 

Take Action with Students

         Have students rub their palms together, while pushing them together only lightly. They should find the frictional force (and thus difficulty of sliding them past each other) to be rather small.  Next, tell them to press their palms together about twice as hard, while they also slide the palms past each other. The frictional force should be roughly doubled. Ask students what the name is for a relationship in which, when one variable is doubled, the other is doubled or increased by equivalent amounts (a “direct proportion”). Ask them how such a relationship can be written, so that the frictional force is expressed in terms of the normal force (friction is a constant times the normal force).

         If students have had trigonometry and physics, show a ball on an inclined plane (either real or in a diagram), and ask students to draw vectors representing the frictional and normal forces. If they have had physics, have them do calculations of the magnitudes of these forces in terms of the ball’s weight and acceleration, and the angle of the ramp.

 

Facilitate ENGINEERING Inquiry

Encourage inquiry using a strategy modeled on the research-based science writing heuristic. Student work will vary in complexity and depth depending on grade level, prior knowledge, and creativity. Use the prompts liberally to encourage thought and discussion. Student Copy Masters begin on page 10.

 

Explore Understanding

Use prompts such as the following to understand what students already know about frictional forces. Help them consider the question of exactly what “friction” is, how it might cause a ball to spin, and what possible reasons there might be for wanting a ball to spin.

         If I slide my hand across the surface of a table, toward the door (for example), the frictional force on my hand….

         If a car is parked facing up a steep hill, the frictional force acting on the car….

         If a ball is rolling down a ramp, its spin is increasing because of a frictional force on the ball that….

         If a ball is rolling up the face of a golf club, the frictional force on the ball….

         If a ball is travelling east and has a backspin, and then lands on grass, the frictional force exerted on it by the grass on which it lands….

         The frictional force will cause the ball to…, which might be helpful because….

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Show the video Science of Golf: Friction and Spin. Continue the discussion of the reasons for and cause of spin on the ball. Begin to guide their understanding about how backspin allows the ball to push the ground forward (in the direction of flight), so that as an equal and opposite reaction, the ground pushes the ball backwards, making it stop or even back up. Help students compare the potential for backspin among clubs with various lofts. Crude drawings of a flat, vertical putter face; long irons that are less angled; and wedges that are highly angled can illustrate that the greater the loft of the club, the more friction is involved and the greater the potential for backspin to result. Use prompts such as the following.

         When I watched the video, I thought about….

         According to the video, a purpose of ball spin is….

         The force that actually makes the ball spin is….

         The force that makes the ball stop on the green is….

         The purpose of the grooves on the club face is….

         Grooves are less important on lower loft (or flatter faced) clubs because….

         Other ways to produce spin on a golf ball might be….

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Stimulate small-group discussion with the prompt: This video makes me think about these questions…. Then have groups list questions they have about the challenges that must be surmounted in order to develop a consistent way to produce spin on a ball while launching it towards a target. Ask groups to choose one question and phrase it in such a way as to be researchable and/or testable. The following are some examples.

         How can we consistently launch a ball with a spin?

         What methods can we use to get a ball to end up as close as possible to a target?

         How can we test to see if grooves on a club face are helpful in imparting spin on a ball?

 

Design Investigations

Choose one of the following options based on your students’ knowledge, creativity, and ability level and your available materials. Actual materials needed would vary greatly based on these factors as well.

Possible Materials: Allow time for students to examine and manipulate the materials you have available. Doing so often aids students in refining their questions, or prompts new ones that should be recorded for future investigation. In this inquiry, students might use materials such as a golf ball (either a real one or a foam practice ball), a section of carpet or some outdoor grass, an actual golf club, strips of cloth (such as socks), wide elastic exercise or resistance bands, or angled wooden blocks covered with different materials such as rubber “grip” pads for opening jars or sandpaper.

Note: With any of these it will likely be difficult to standardize or reliably reproduce a given amount of spin. Thus, the inquiry focuses mainly of the benefit of backspin, rather than on the best method for producing it or on the role of grooves, which may be very hard to detect from the interference of other factors.

 

Safety Considerations To augment your own safety procedures, see NSTA’s Safety Portal at http://www.nsta.org/portals/safety.aspx.

 

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Open Choice Approach (Copy Master on pages 10–12)

Groups might come together to agree on one question for which they will explore the answer, or each group might explore something different. Students should brainstorm to form a plan they would have to follow in order to answer the question, which might include researching background information.

 

The following exemplifies how students might engineer methods for launching a golf ball towards a target in such a way as to impart backspin on the golf ball. After deciding on at least two such launch methods (within the lab group), students might use these methods to get a ball as close as possible to a target like a hole, under conditions that require significant backspin, so as to stop in a short distance. For example, the ball might be required to clear a certain line in the air (perhaps 10–20 feet from the launch point) and then stop near their target simulating a hole which is only a short distance (perhaps 2–4 feet) past that line.

 

1.      After students examine the materials available for launching a golf ball toward a target, have them establish the general criteria for a launch.

         What surface could we use for the green?

         How far from the near edge of the green will the hole (or target) be placed?

         How far will the green be from the launch point?

         How high will the ball be required, or allowed, to go?

 

2.      After the target and distances are established, students should think of creative ways to launch the ball with a spin. These may include construction of a device, such as angled wooden blocks with different surfaces, or a sling-like wrap that imparts spin to the ball as it unwinds. Perhaps the most effective methods may be simply different styles of throwing the ball with the bare hands, such as snapping it backwards between the index and middle fingers while tossing it underhanded. Another method (requiring some skill on the part of students) could be use of an actual golf club.  (With both the golf club and the angled wooden blocks, students may have some difficulty getting under the ball to actually loft it.)

         We will launch the ball by….

         We will impart spin by….

         We could produce enough backspin to stop the ball upon landing by….

         The launch angle (and therefore maximum height) of the ball affects the roll by….

         The amount of spin is important/not important in determining how close the ball ends up to the target because….

 

3.      Groups of students might now use their chosen methods to launch the ball several times, each time measuring the distance it ends up from the target. One set of launches might be done with little or no spin (for methods for which this is possible), to serve as a control experiment.

         The number of launches we will be allowed to make is….

         We will quantify the results by….

         The method that seems to produce the most backspin is….

         The method that produces the minimum distance from the target is….

 

 

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4.      Students might consider how their methods or that of another group might be improved. If time permits, these improvements might be made and used to gather a new set of data.

         I could improve my own method by….

         We could improve another method by….

         We could improve the already-best method by….

 

Focused Media Research Approach(Copy Master on pages 12-13)

The following exemplifies how students might investigate a question about whether or not groove shape can result in a competitive advantage.

 

1.      Ask students questions such as the following to spark their thinking:

         What impact might the shape of grooves have on the ability to impart spin on the ball?

         How are grooves measured and their size and shape regulated?

         Who regulates groove size and shape, and why?

         What factors contribute to golfers being able to stop a ball on the green?

         What is the appropriate balance between club technology and personal skill level?

         How might golf course conditions be managed to balance technological improvements?

 

2.      If students need help getting started, you might provide the following references. Note: If links do not automatically load, copy and paste the URLs into your Internet browser bar.

         A Study of the Effect of Rough Height on Tour Player Performance Using U- and V-Grooved Irons
http://www.usga.org/Content.aspx?id=24246

         Equipment Standards Overview
http://www.usga.org/Equipment.aspx?id=7794

         A primer on the square grooves causing controversy on the PGA Tour
http://www.tampabay.com/sports/golf/a-primer-on-the-square-grooves-causing-controversy-on-the-pga-tour/1070541

         The Great Square Groove Controversy
http://www.tutelman.com/golf/justgolf/squaregroove.php

         Solheim Addresses Groove Controversy
http://www.golfnewsnow.ca/2010/02/02/solheim-addresses-groove-controversy/

         PGA.com’s complete coverage of the new grooves policy
http://www.pga.com/pgacoms-complete-coverage-new-grooves-policy

 

3.      Remind students to take detailed notes as they conduct their research.  Review, if necessary, how to safely browse the web, how to evaluate Internet sources for accuracy, and how to properly cite the information found. You might also want to provide students with the rubric on page 15 to use as a guide in conducting their research.

 

4.      Students might continue their investigation by finding out how grooves are manufactured for performance, and make a case for one process over another. Students might begin their inquiry at sites such as the following.

         Spin Milled Technology
http://www.vokey.com/wedges/pages/spin-milled-technology.aspx

         Laser Machining Processes - 3D Laser Milling, Laser Micro-Machining

http://www.manufacturelink.com.au/processes/laser-machining-3d-laser-milling.aspx

         CG15s Feature Zip Grooves, Laser-Milled Face

http://www.golfnewsnow.ca/2009/11/16/cg15s-feature-zip-grooves-laser-milled-face/

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Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Students should analyze their data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence their data shows. Encourage students with this prompt: As evidenced by… we claim… because….

Example claims might be:    As evidenced by the smaller average distance from our target using method #3, we claim that the method of snapping the ball backwards between two fingers produced the most backspin, because the primary reason for missing the target was rolling past it, and the backspin exerts a frictional force on the surface, whose equal and opposite reaction reduces the ball’s speed.  We claim that players should be able to use whatever technology enables them to excel at their sport because they still must perform with a level of precision to take advantage of the technology, and because all players have access to it.

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas with those of others, such as classmates who investigated a similar (or different) question or system, or to compare their ideas with material they found on the Internet or in their textbooks, or heard from an expert they chose to interview. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as:

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Students might make comparisons like the following:

My idea for producing backspin is similar to that used by a golf club in that friction is used to produce a torque on the ball, but it is different in that the contact is maintained over a much longer time than that of a club face striking the ball.

Our ideas differ from the USGA stance on groove shape because we think that our research shows that most players do not have the ability to take advantage of the increased spin enabled by U-shaped grooves.

 

Reflect on Learning

Students should reflect on their understanding, thinking about how their ideas have changed or what they know now that they didn’t before. Encourage reflection, using prompts such as the following:

         The claim made by the expert in the video is….

         I support or refute the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on pages 13-14.

 

 

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Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

 

Real World Connections:  Golf club faces are not the only surfaces that use grooves to increase friction (especially when surfaces may be wet). Many such applications exist, including the tread patterns on tires and on the bottom of shoes. Have students brainstorm to list applications of grooves to increase friction. After they have thought of as many as they can, have them do an Internet search to find more. Start a discussion of how the grooves help in each case, including whether water or another liquid is being channeled through the grooves.

 

Compare and Contrast:  Most golf clubs have grooves on them. Have students compare different clubs – mainly with respect to their “loft,” or club face angle – to see which have grooves and which don’t. Ask: for which clubs are grooves most or least important, and why?

 

Using the 5E Approach?

If you use a 5E approach to lesson plans, consider incorporating video in these Es:

Explore:  Bring to class (or have students bring to class) a variety of objects that employ some kind of grooves as a means of increasing friction. They might bring in golf clubs, shoes, devices used for gripping jar lids, parts of mechanical devices, and so on. Have students compare the depths and widths of the grooves, and have them try to explain any differences in these measurements or in the shape of the groove or tread patterns.

Explain: Students may or may not have learned about the concept of torque, but the example of friction providing the torque serves as a good explanation. Have students define torque (either from prior knowledge or research done now), and describe its effects. Ask them to explain exactly where on the ball this torque is produced, and perhaps even estimate its magnitude. Then ask students to brainstorm to identify other examples of the effects of torque in everyday life, such as wrenches and hinged doors.

 

Connect to … Physical Education

Many sports involve deliberately putting a spin on a ball. Tennis and ping pong make good use of top (forward) spin, mainly to exert a downward aerodynamic effect on the ball.  Baseball pitchers deliberately put spin on the ball, and there is usually a large spin on the ball after it is struck by the bat. In football, with both passes and punts, a spin along the forward-backward axis stabilizes the ball in the most aerodynamically orientation for reducing drag. In basketball, a backspin helps deflect the ball downward and through the net for shots off the backboard. Have students brainstorm to come up with examples of the use of spin on a ball in sports, and  have them discuss what can be done in each case to maximize or minimize this spin.

 

Connect to … Auto Mechanics

The transmission in a car, whether manual or automatic, involves a clutch, which can vary friction between two surfaces (i.e., by varying the amount of force pressing them together) so that the rotation of one surface can be imparted (or not) to the other one. Have students do Internet research to find the location of the clutch in various car models; how and when it is engaged; what surface materials are used; and how it can malfunction or fail. 

 

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Use Video as a Writing Prompt

Have students carefully and repeatedly watch the portions of the video from 1:15 to 1:23 and from 3:05 to 3:13. Ask them to write about the differences in both the amount of imparted spin in the two cases, and also in the path the ball takes after the collision. If they have any physics background, have them write a clear explanation for the differences they see. (For example: The ball that gets more spin does so because of a frictional force acting on it toward the lower left, and this force also gives the ball more of a leftward component of velocity after the collision is complete).

 

More advanced physics students might pause the video several times to collect data on the exact path of the center of the ball before and after the collision (relative to the plane of the club face), and use this velocity data to determine the magnitude of the frictional force relative to that of the normal force (perpendicular to the club face).  

 

 

 

Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

The Science of Golf: Friction and Spin

Use this guide to investigate a question about how one might design a way to impart backspin and use this backspin to control the motion of the ball after it lands on a surface. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

The video makes me think about these questions….

 

Design Investigations

Choose one question. How can you answer it? Brainstorm with your teammates. Write a procedure that enables you to design within constraints and collect accurate measurements. Look up information as needed. Add safety precautions.

         Information we need to understand before we can start our investigation is….

         We will construct any equipment needed by….

         The procedure to be used with our equipment is….

         We will impart backspin on the ball by….

         Our problem, or goal, in launching the golf ball is to….

         The exact criteria the launch must meet are….

         We will evaluate the success of our method by….

         We might evaluate whether or not backspin is helpful by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

 

Record Data and Observations

Record your observations. Organize your data in tables or graphs as appropriate. Consider the examples below.

 

 

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Results of Launches Using Various Methods

 

Method

Distance from Hole Trial #1

Distance from Hole Trial #2

Distance from Hole Trial #3

Distance from Hole Trial #4

Distance from Hole Trial #5

Average Distance from Hole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas for Analyzing Data

         Which method worked the best? Why did that happen?

         If a no-spin control was used, how well did that work?

         What are some sources of error in our methods, and how could our accuracy be improved?

         Were five trials sufficient to clearly determine the best method?

         Which was more important—the method, or the person using it? How could we investigate that question?

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence shown by your data. Make sure that the claim goes beyond summarizing the relationship between the variables.

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Compare Findings

Review the video and then discuss your results with classmates who did the investigation using the same or a similar system or with those who did the investigation using a different system. Or do research on the Internet or talk with an expert. How do your findings compare? Be sure to give credit to others when you use their findings in your comparisons.

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

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Reflect on Learning

Think about what you found out. How does it fit with what you already knew? How does it change what you thought you knew?

         The claim made by the expert in the video is….

         I support (or refute) the expert’s claim because in my investigation….

         When thinking about the expert’s claims, I am confused as to why….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

 

 

COPY MASTER: Focused Media Research Guide for Students

 

The Science of Golf: Friction and Spin

Use this guide to investigate one or more questions about how grooves in golf clubs impart spin to the ball. Write your report in your science notebook.

 

Ask a Beginning Question

How does the technology of grooves impact the club's ability to impart spin to the ball?

 

Plan Research

Brainstorm with your team how you think you can answer your question(s). Use these prompts to help you.

         Words and phrases associated with our questions are….

         The reliability of our sources was established by….

         The science and math concepts related to the topic include….

         Our research might feed into related topics, such as….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Record Findings

Record your findings. Include tables, graphs, or other images, as needed.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your information, then make one or more claims based on the evidence. You might want to use one of the prompts below to write your claim(s).

•    As evidenced by… I claim… because….    

•    I claim that… because my findings show that….

 

My Evidence

My Claim

My Reason

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Compare Findings

Review the video and then discuss your results with classmates who investigated the same or similar questions. Or do more research on the topic, or talk to an expert. How do your findings compare? Be sure to give credit to others when you use their findings in your comparisons.

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts in the video in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of my classmates in that….

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those that I found on the Internet in that….

 

Reflect on Learning

Think about your results. How do they fit with what you already knew? How do they change what you thought you knew about the topic?

         My ideas about this topic have changed because of this evidence….

         My ideas changed in the following ways….

         One concept I still do not understand involves….

         One aspect of this topic I would like to learn more about is….

 

 

 

 

Copy Master: Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations

 

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question

Question had a yes/no answer, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

Question was researchable or testable but too broad or not answerable by the chosen investigation.

Question clearly stated, researchable or testable, and showed direct relationship to investigation.

Investigation design

The design of the investigation did not support a response to the initial question.

While the design supported the initial question, the procedure used to collect data (e.g., number of trials, control of variables) was not sufficient.

Variables were clearly identified and controlled as needed with steps and trials that resulted in data that could be used to answer the question.

Variables

Either the dependent or independent variable was not identified.

While the dependent and independent variables were identified, no controls were present.

Variables identified and controlled in a way that results in data that can be analyzed and compared.

Safety procedures

Basic laboratory safety procedures were followed, but practices specific to the activity were not identified.

Some, but not all, of the safety equipment was used and only some safe practices needed for this investigation were followed.

Appropriate safety equipment used and safe practices adhered to.

Observations and data

Observations were not made or recorded, and data are unreasonable in nature, not recorded, or do not reflect what actually took place during the investigation.

Observations were made, but were not very detailed, or data appear invalid or were not recorded appropriately.

Detailed observations were made and properly recorded and data are plausible and recorded appropriately.

Claim

No claim was made or the claim had no relationship to the evidence used to support it.

Claim was marginally related to evidence from investigation.

Claim was backed by investigative or research evidence.

Findings comparison

Comparison of findings was limited to a description of the initial question.

Comparison of findings was not supported by the data collected.

Comparison of findings included both methodology and data collected by at least one other entity.

Reflection

Student reflections were limited to a description of the procedure used.

Student reflections were not related to the initial question.

Student reflections described at least one impact on thinking.

 

 

Copy Master: Assessment Rubric for
Focused Media Research Investigations

 

 

Criteria

1 point

2 points

3 points

Initial question

Question had a yes/no answer, was off topic, or otherwise was not researchable or testable.

Question was researchable or testable but too broad or not answerable by the chosen investigation.

Question clearly stated, researchable or testable, and showed direct relationship to investigation.

References cited

All of the references used in the study were incorrectly cited.

Only some of the references used in the study were correctly cited.

All of the references used in the study were correctly cited.

Claim

No claim was made or the claim had no evidence to support it.

Claim was marginally supported by evidence from the research.

Claim was well supported by strong evidence from the research.

Findings comparison

Comparison of findings was limited to a description of the initial questions.

Comparison of findings was marginally supported by the information collected.

Comparison of findings was well supported by the information collected.

Reflection

None of the reflections were related to the initial questions.

Some of the reflections were related to the initial questions.

All of the reflections were related to the initial questions.

 

(14)

 

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