SCIENCE OF THE SUMMER OLYMPICS: Missy Franklin & Fluid Dynamics - A Science Perspective (Grades 6-12) Print

Objective:

Framework for K–12 Science Education: PS2.A Forces and Motion, PS2.B: Types of Interactions, ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems, ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World


Introduction Notes:

Science of the Summer Olympics

Missy Franklin & Fluid Dynamics

A Science Perspective (Grades 6-12)

 

Lesson plans produced by the National Science Teachers Association.

Video produced by NBC Learn in collaboration with the National Science Foundation.

 

Background and Planning Information

 

About the Video

Timothy Wei, Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, applies concepts of fluid dynamics to “engineering” the strokes of elite swimmers, including Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, in much the same way as engineers design cars and airplanes to move through the fluid atmosphere.

 

0:00     0:12     Opening Credits

0:13     0:54     Introducing Missy Franklin

0:55     1:14     Advantages of body size in thrust and drag

1:15     2:02     Timothy Wei: engineering of a swimmer’s stroke

2:03     2:26     Stroke in action: frictional (viscous) drag

2:27     2:51     Stroke in action: pressure drag

2:52     3:09     Stroke in action: wave drag

3:10     3:32     Stroke in action: thrust

3:33     3:55     Thrust actions of hands and feet

3:56     4:23     Technique to reduce drag: streamlining

4:24     4:49     Uniqueness of swimmer’s stroke and summary

4:50     4:59     Closing Credits

 

Language Support

To aid those with limited English proficiency or others who need help focusing on the video, make transcript of the video available. Click the Transcript tab on the side of the video window, then copy and paste into a document for student reference.

 

Connect to Science

Framework for K–12 Science Education  PS2.A Forces and Motion

                                                                    PS2.B: Types of Interactions

Related Science Concepts

         Aerodynamics

         Air as a fluid

         Bernoulli’s principle

         Drag—frictional, pressure, wave

         Fluid dynamics

         Fluid friction

         Streamlining

         Thrust

(page 1)


Connect to Engineering

Framework for K–12 Science Education

      ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

      ETS2.B: Influence of Engineering, Technology, and Science on Society and the Natural World

 

Engineering in Action

The engineering problem addressed in Science of the Summer Olympics (SOTSO): Missy Franklin & Fluid Dynamics is how to design a swimming stroke that takes advantage of a swimmer’s physical features. The design involves evaluating the mechanics of motion of the limbs, body, and head and moving them in such a way as to swim faster than another swimmer with comparable physical features. While a swimmer’s gear – swimsuit, goggles, and even the pool shape (addressed in the video SOTSO: Designing a Fast Pool) – has an impact, this video focuses on how the same aerodynamic aspects of airplanes and boats can be applied to a swimming human body. Engineers hone their ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints, such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.

 

Take Action with Students

Brainstorm with students descriptions of the constraints within which engineers would have to work to design a swimmer’s stroke. Extend this discussion to other objects moving through fluids, such as automobiles, submarines, personal aircraft, or amphibious vehicles.

 

Inquiry Outline for Teachers

 

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 6.

 

Explore Understanding

Discuss with students some of the engineering problems that must be overcome by swimmers and other objects or animals moving through a fluid, such as air or water. Use prompts such as the following to start students talking:

         You can swim faster in a bathing suit than in blue jeans and a jacket because….

         A dolphin’s shape helps it swim more quickly than a sea turtle by….

         A skydiver moves very quickly until the parachute opens because….

 

Show the video SOTSO: Missy Franklin & Fluid Dynamics.

 

Continue the discussion of engineering problems associated with movement through a fluid, using prompts such as the following:

         When I watched the video I thought about….

         The expert in the video claimed that _____ because….

         The plane moving through air is like a swimmer moving through water in that….

         Fluids result in more friction than gases because….

         Missy Franklin reduces friction by….

 

(page 2)

 

         Pressure impacts a swimmer by….

         Objects shaped like _____ move through fluids more easily.

         Missy Franklin claimed that _____ because….

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Stimulate small-group discussion with the prompt: This video makes me think about these questions…. Then have students work in small groups to list questions they have about factors that influence how Missy (or something else), moves through a fluid. Then groups should choose one question and phrase it in such a way as to be researchable and/or testable. The following are some examples.

         How does Missy’s height impact her speed?

         Could Missy swim as fast if she swam underwater instead?

         How does streamlining impact movement through a fluid?

         How does density impact movement through a fluid?

         What influence does shape have on movement through a fluid?

 

Design Investigations

Choose one of these two options based on your students’ knowledge, creativity, and ability level.

 

Open Choice Approach (Copy Master page 6)

Small groups might join together to agree on one question for which they will explore the answer, or each small group might explore something different. Students should brainstorm what they would have to do to answer the selected question. Then work with students to develop safe procedures that control variables and make accurate measurements. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

         The variable we will test is….

         The variables we will control are….

         The steps we will follow are….

         To conduct the investigation safely we will….

 

Focused Approach (Copy Master pages 7–8)

The following exemplifies how students might investigate the question of how density influences movement through a fluid.

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

         What causes friction?

         How does friction impact Missy as she swims?

         What are some birds that deal with fluid friction of gases and liquids?

         What role does the fluid’s density play in friction?

         How does density differ among liquids and gases?

2.       Students might choose to explore how a given shaped object moves through air and through water or through liquids of different densities. Give them free rein in determining which object they will use and which media. Encourage them to make predictions about what will happen during their investigation.

 

(page 3)

 

3.      Ensure that students brainstorm variables and determine which can be controlled and which cannot. As needed, help them focus on their chosen variable in each trial. Use prompts such as the following:

         The variable we will test is….

         The variables we will control are….

4.      Students might move objects by hand, drop them through the media, or use a crank that could be moved at a certain pace for more quantitative data. Use prompts such as the following with students:

         The media we will use are….

         We will gauge speed of movement by….

         To conduct the investigation safely we will….

5.      Students might continue their investigation by focusing on the variable of shape within a medium of a given density.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

As students carry out their investigations, ensure they record their observations. As needed, suggest ways they might organize their data using tables or graphs. 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… I claim… because….

 

An example regarding shape and density might be:

As evidenced bya marble moving through a column of less dense air into more dense water, I claim that an increase in density slows an object’s motion because there is greater friction between the molecules of the more dense material and the object dropping through it.

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas with those of others—such as classmates who investigated the same or similar questions; material they found on the Internet; experts who were interviewed; or their textbooks. Remind students to credit their original sources in their comparisons. Elicit comparisons from students with prompts such as the following:

         My ideas are similar to (or different from) those of the experts 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 ideas are similar to my classmates’ in that the data from groups that researched objects falling through liquids of different densities had similar results—the greater the density of the medium, the slower the object moved.

 

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:

         I claim that my ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of this evidence….

         My ideas changed in the following ways….

 

(page 4)

 

         One concept I still do not understand involves….

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is….

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 9.

 

 

 

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

Bellringer:  Show the video as students are getting settled, perhaps twice. Have students answer a question such as: How does body structure make a difference in the speed of a swimmer? Give at least three influences. Use students’ answers as your lead-in to your introduction of fluid friction.

 

Homework:  Have students use the concepts from the video to justify air as a fluid and to diagram the impact of the atmosphere as a fluid on airplanes.

 

Using the 5E Approach?

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

Explore: Use the Focused Approach in the Design Investigations section of the Inquiry Outline to encourage student exploration of the science concept of drag.

Elaborate: Use the video to elaborate on fluid dynamics in an engaging and practical application.

 

Connect to … Language Arts

Suggest students research Missy Franklin’s background on the Internet, using newspaper interviews and blog articles to write a first-person perspective on some aspect or time period of her life. Students might use the following as starting points.

         http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/olympics/missy-franklin-has-body-built-for-speed/2012/02/15/gIQAtHT7RS_story.html

         http://www.nbcolympics.com/news-blogs/swimming/10-questions-with-missy-franklin.html

         http://www.aurorasentinel.com/sports/prep_sports/girls_swimming/article_796e853a-792e-11e1-97e2-0019bb2963f4.html

         http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204257504577153054136465114.html

 

Use Video in Assessment

Play the beginning of the “Introducing Missy Franklin” segment (0:13–0:38) with the sound muted. Give the following instructions. Then continually replay the muted 25 seconds until all students have completed the assessment.

Describe what happens to Missy Franklin once she leaves the swimmer’s block. Use the following terms in your description: streamline, friction, drag, thrust

 

(page 5)

 

 

Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of the Summer Olympics: Missy Franklin & Fluid Dynamics

Use this guide to investigate a question about Missy Franklin, or the movement of a swimmer or other object, through a fluid. 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 controls variables and makes accurate measurements. Add safety precautions as needed.

         The variable I will test is….

         The variables I will control are….

         The steps I will follow are….

         To conduct the investigation safely, I….

 

Record Data and Observations

Record your observations. Organize your data in tables or graphs as appropriate.

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data shows. 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 investigated the same or a similar question. 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….

 

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?

         I claim that my ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of this evidence…

         My ideas changed in the following ways…

         One concept I still do not understand involves….

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is….

 

(page 6)

 

COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students

 

Science of the Summer Olympics: Missy Franklin & Fluid Dynamics

Use this guide to investigate a question about density and the movement of a swimmer or other object through a fluid. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

How does density impact movement through a fluid?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to answer the question. Write a procedure that controls variables and makes accurate measurements. Add safety precautions as needed. For example, you might move an object through gases and/or liquids of different densities. How can you do that?

         The media I will use are….

         The object I will use is…

         The other materials I need are….

         The steps I will follow are…

         The variables I will control are….

         To be safe, I need to….

         I predict….

 

Record Data and Observations

Organize your data in tables or graphs as appropriate. The table and graph below are examples for moving objects through media of different densities.

 

Movement and Density

 

 

Time to Move Through Medium

Medium

Trial 1

Trial 2

Trial 3

Air

 

 

 

Water

 

 

 

 

 

missy science

 

 

(page 7)

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data shows. 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 investigated the same or a similar question. 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….

 

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?

         I claim that my ideas have changed from the beginning of this lesson because of this evidence…

         My ideas changed in the following ways…

         One concept I still do not understand involves….

         One part of the investigation I am most proud of is….

 

(page 8)

 

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 reflection was 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.

 

(page 9)

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