SCIENCE OF GOLF: Evolution of the Golf Club - STEM Lesson Plan (Grades 6-12) Print

Objective:

Students will investigate questions about golf club design and its relationship to functionality, as well as the role of rotational inertia in golf club design.


Introduction Notes:

Science of GOLF

Evolution of the Golf Club

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............................................................................................................... 4

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

 

Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry.............................................................................. 5

Explore Understanding................................................................................................................ 5

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

Design Investigations................................................................................................................... 6

            Possible Materials.............................................................................................................. 6

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

            Focused Approach............................................................................................................. 6

            Media Research Option...................................................................................................... 8

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence............................................................................................. 9

Compare Findings........................................................................................................................ 9

Reflect on Learning..................................................................................................................... 9

Inquiry Assessment...................................................................................................................... 9

 

Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan...................................................... 10

Integrate Video in Instruction.................................................................................................... 10

            Visualize Concepts............................................................................................................ 10

                Homework....................................................................................................................... 10

                Using the 5E Approach?.................................................................................................... 10

Connect to … Language Arts...................................................................................................... 10

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

 

Copy Masters .............................................................................................. 11

Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students................................................................................... 11

Focused Inquiry Guide for Students (High School) ................................................................... 12

Focused Inquiry Guide for Students (Middle School) ............................................................... 14

Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations............................................................................ 16

 

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Background and Planning Information

 

About the Video

This video discusses the history and physics of golf clubs, along with ongoing research and development aimed at producing progressively better clubs. After an introduction centered on the Merion Golf Club (host of the 2013 U.S. Open) in Pennsylvania, it features Matt Pringle, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering), senior research engineer for the United States Golf Association (USGA). The video focuses on two important aspects of club design: maximization of rotational inertia of the club head; and energy return due to the spring quality of the club face. It shows the role physics and engineering have played in improving both distance and ball control for golf clubs over the years, and also points out the role of novel materials, such as titanium and carbon fiber, in this ongoing development.

 

Video Timeline

0:00     0:14     Series opening

0:15     1:02     Introducing the Merion Golf Club

1:03     1:25     Discussing the history of golf clubs and the materials used to make them

1:26     1:35     Discussing the role of club head mass in imparting energy to the golf ball

1:36     1:59     Introducing Matt Pringle who discusses the role of club head mass

2:00     2:28     Explaining the role of rotational inertia reducing club rotation and energy loss

2:29     3:04     Testing wood clubs at the USGA Research and Test Center

3:05     3:28     Explaining how the club head’s spring quality returns stored energy to the ball

3:29     4:01     Describing the evolution of wood to metal club heads

4:02     4:59     Describing how modern materials influence ball-striking

5:00     5:27     Describing the ideal club of today

5:28     5:47     Describing how these changes will be showcased by the U.S. Open at Merion

5:48     6:04     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 SCIENCE 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.

MS-PS2-2. Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.

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 macroscopic objects, their mass, and acceleration.

HS-PS2-3. Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision.

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Promote STEM with Video

 

Connect to Science

The science knowledge underlying the video includes an understanding of the storage of potential energy and release as kinetic energy in a collision. Also, the physics concept of rotational inertia (often called moment of inertia) is needed to understand how the mass distribution of a club head affects both the flight distance and the direction of the ball after impact. Finally, materials science is needed to identify metals and other substances that meet requirements such as strength, low density, and spring quality.

 

Related Science Concepts

         potential energy

         kinetic energy

         rotational inertia (moment of inertia)

         material properties

 

Take Action with Students

         Using the Design Investigations section of Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry as a guide, encourage students to design and build a “golf club” that demonstrates how different amounts of rotational inertia affect the direction of a struck golf ball.

         Use the video as a springboard to start students talking about various aspects of sports and recreation that are heavily influenced by the activities of scientists and engineers. Play the video with the sound muted and ask volunteers for their thoughts about the lab environment they see (2:28–2:46), what types career fields they think might be involved in the design and manufacture of golf clubs, what they think the working environment might be like, and so on. Encourage students to point out specific people and jobs being done and comment on what kind of science knowledge, technical abilities, or other expertise individuals might need to work there.

 

Connect to Technology

Modern technology, such as computers and golf-club-swinging robots, is needed to analyze data and develop new designs. In addition, high-speed photography enables us to see just what happens during the tiny fraction of a second in which the club and the ball are in contact and interacting.

 

Take Action with Students

         Show those portions of the video that use high-speed photography to show action in “slow motion,” such as 3:24–3:29, 3:44–3:55, and 4:26–4:44. Have students discuss how this technology helps researchers design clubs, and also what other uses such photography might have.

         Have students listen to the narrator at about 2:15 in the video, when he says, “engineers test golf clubs to make sure that technology isn’t more important than skill in golf.” Have students discuss or debate the topic of what human “skills” may mean in a world where technology makes things easier.

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Cue discussion with prompts such as the following:

o   The evidence in the video that supports how engineers are trying to ensure that technology does not take the place of skill in golf includes….

o   Examples of technological advances in other aspects of daily life that reduce the need for human skills are….

o   Examples of technological advances in other aspects of daily life that increase the need for human skills are….

 

Connect to Engineering

The engineering design process involves many aspects of science and technology, plus the human ingenuity and creativity needed to bring all these facets together to produce ever-better golf clubs. The history of the golf club is a good illustration of how engineering consists not only of creating a product, but continuing to improve it as new technological and mathematical tools become available.

 

Take Action with Students

         Students might compare and contrast various modern “driver” golf clubs, along with the supporting research on how a given driver design is expected to improve distance or accuracy of the drive. Students could go on to design their own oddly-shaped drivers that conform to USGA standards as described in Appendix II of the Rules of Golf, and hold a class competition to determine the best design. Download the USGA standards at: http://www.usga.org/Rule-Books/Rules-of-Golf/Appendix-II/

         Have students identify or research products other than golf clubs that are made from titanium, magnesium, tungsten, or carbon fiber—all of which are mentioned in the video as materials used in golf clubs. Elicit the advantages of such materials in these applications.

 

Connect to Math

Math, while not discussed in detail in this video, is essential for modeling what happens to the ball and club during impact, and predicting what the resulting flight of the ball will be. The physical laws that govern what happens when a ball is struck by a club, for example, are expressed as mathematical equations, and can be solved by humans or, more efficiently, programmed into computer simulations.

 

High school students who have had two years of algebra can make a specific connection to power laws, in which one quantity is proportional to another quantity raised to some power. Moment of inertia is directly proportional to an object’s mass, and generally proportional to the square of the length of an object. It can be easily calculated for objects of simple shapes – for  example, the moment of inertia of a uniform stick or rod, rotated about one end, is 1/3 of the mass times the square of the rod’s length. If an object’s mass is doubled, its moment of inertia is doubled, but if its length is doubled (even while holding mass constant), its moment of inertia is quadrupled.

 

Take Action with Students

         Have students calculate the moments of inertia of rods of the same length but different masses, and of rods of the same mass but different lengths. Have the students make graphs of moment of inertia versus mass (makes a straight line), and of moment of inertia versus length (makes an upward curve—the parabola).

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Facilitate SCIENCE 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 11.

 

Explore Understanding

Encourage students to think about the factors involved in designing and manufacturing a golf club that maximizes distance and accuracy. In order to create optimal golf clubs, researchers analyze the forces involved during the impact between a club and a ball. Have students discuss the effects of large versus small rotational inertia (or resistance to rotation) of a club head, and how and when these effects are important (mainly for off-center hits). Also, have students discuss how wood is different from metals such as titanium. Use these or similar prompts to spark a discussion about the role of physics and materials science in the design and manufacture of golf clubs.

         An off-center hit with a club with a small rotational inertia results in….

         Metals are now the material of choice for golf clubs because….

         Newer golf clubs may allow lower scores for professional golfers because….

         Newer golf clubs may allow lower scores for average or poor golfers because….

         In order to increase the rotational inertia while holding mass constant, I would….

 

Show the video “Science of Golf: Evolution of the Golf Club.” Continue the discussion of golf club design and manufacture, with prompts such as the following:

         When I watched the video, I thought about….

         The expert in the video was inspired to create better golf clubs because….

         The expert in the video used a robotic “golfer” instead of a human golfer because….

         The mass of the golf club impacts the swing or shot by….

         The rotational inertia of the golf club impacts the swing or shot by….

         The “spring quality” of the club head impacts the swing or shot by….

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Stimulate small-group discussions 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 to create golf clubs that maximize both distance and accuracy. 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.

         What factors determine the ideal mass of the club head?

         What factors determine the rotational inertia of the club head?

         What factors determine the spring quality of the club head?

         What advantages do metals have over wood in the manufacture of golf clubs?

         Do these technologies make golf clubs more, or less, expensive than the older designs?

         How might golf clubs be tested?

         What regulations exist regarding the size, shape, mass, and other properties of golf clubs?

 

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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 wood blocks, nails or screws, and wooden dowels, as well as a golf ball. More convenient substitutes, such as clay sticks/bricks or craft foam and hard rubber balls, might be used as well.

 

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

 

Open Choice Approach (Copy Master page 11)

Groups might agree on one question for which they will all explore an 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. Work with students to develop safe procedures that control variables and enable them to gather valid data. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:

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

         The variables in construction of a golf club head are….

         The potential variable(s) we will hold constant is (are)….

         To measure the effects of different clubs on the path of the golf ball, we will….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

Focused Approach for High School (Copy Master pages 12–13)

The following exemplifies how students could design and assemble golf clubs with heads of equal mass but different moments of inertia (amounts of rotational inertia), and investigate any differences in the behavior of a golf ball struck somewhat off-center by the various clubs.

1.      After students examine the materials you have available to construct golf clubs, ask them questions such as the following to help them envision their investigation.

         What are the variables that affect the rotational inertia of the club head?

         What must we hold constant to investigate the effects of different rotational inertia?

         How will we strike the ball so that differences between these clubs become apparent?

         How will we measure the path of the ball after being struck?

         What are some sources of error in measuring the path of the ball?

2.      Students might make two club heads of equal mass, but different length, as follows: a long (high-rotational inertia) club head can be a single block of wood or dense craft foam, while a short (low-rotational inertia) club head can consist of two blocks, each one-half the length of the long one (perhaps made by cutting one long block in half), stacked vertically and fastened together with glue or tape. In each case, a hole could be drilled or otherwise punched vertically through the exact center of the block(s). These club heads can then swivel on a nail or screw that students simply hold between their fingers with their arm functioning as the club shaft. They might be nailed or screwed into the end of a wooden dowel or a mop, broom, or rake handle, or attached with a string to form a pendulum.

 

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3.      Once students have assembled their golf clubs, explain that by allowing the club head to freely swivel (instead of being fastened to the shaft as is done with a real club) the effect of the gentle golf stroke that can be performed in the classroom can be magnified for better

observation. Use prompts such as the following to help students understand the cause and effect relationship.

         A real golf club can rotate somewhat upon contact with the ball because….

         Our golf club can rotate similarly, but more freely because….

         We are allowing freer rotation than a real golf club in order to….

         Of our two golf clubs, the one that should rotate the most is….

         The reason this club rotates more is because its mass is concentrated….

4.      Ensure that students brainstorm to decide how they will actually use their clubs to putt a ball towards a target, and how they will measure the accuracy. Students might devise procedures involving multiple putts by different group members. Use prompts such as the following to help students envision their procedure.

         The surface that we will be putting across is….

         The target of our putts will be….

         We will measure and record distance to and direction from the target by….

         We will reduce the effect of random human errors in our putts by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

5.      Students might control the variable of how far off-center the ball will be struck by making marks on each club head—one in the center of the club face and the other a certain distance (the same for both clubs) off center. Note that such marks will be further from the end of the club head in the case of the longer club head. Also note that if craft foam is used instead of wood, the marks need to be closer to the center, because craft foam is less dense than wood and will rotate much more. Ask students to predict the effect of off-center putts, and how the degree of this effect should vary with the club that is being used. Use prompts such as the following.

         We will ensure centered putts by….

         We will control the amount of de-centering by….

         Putts made off-center are likely to miss the target to the (right/left)….

         Putts made using the longer club face should miss (more/less) than with the other club….

6. Students can then use their agreed-upon procedure to make a large number of putts, and average, for each club, the distances by which the putts miss.  Use prompts such as the following.

         The centered putts missed by….

         The off-center putts made by the low-rotational inertia club missed by….

         The off-center putts made by the high-rotational inertia club missed by ….

         To minimize the problems of off-center strokes, golf club designers should….

7. Some students might wish to extend their investigation by making centered and off-center putts with a real putter, to see if there is a measurable difference in where the ball goes.

 

Adapt for Middle School Students(Copy Master pages 14–15)

The video concentrates on rotational inertia, which may not be part of your middle school physical science curriculum. As a related substitute, students might investigate simple (linear) inertia instead, related to Newton’s First and Second Laws of Motion. The video points out that a more massive club head will produce a greater ball speed. The more massive club head has

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more inertia, or resistance to acceleration, so that the ball goes forward farther, instead of the club head bouncing backward significantly off the ball. The following exemplifies how students could design and assemble golf clubs with heads of different mass, but that will be swung at the same speed, and investigate any differences in the behavior of a golf ball struck by these different clubs.

1.      After students examine the materials you have available to construct golf clubs, ask them questions such as the following to help them envision their investigation.

         What are the variables that affect the speed of the golf ball after it is struck?

         How will we vary the mass of the club?

         How will we control the speed of the club head?

         What can we measure that will be directly related to how hard the ball was struck?

         What are some sources of error in measuring how hard the ball was struck?

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

2.      Students might use a balsa wood stick as a club shaft, with two wooden blocks (one twice the mass of the other) interchangeably taped to one end to serve as club heads. A pin or small nail can be pressed or driven through the other end of the shaft to serve as a pivot point for rotation. One student can hold this nail at a given height, perhaps by resting his or her arm on a pile of books, while another group member pulls it back to level with the pivot point and then releases it from rest so that it swings down to strike a real golf ball placed (perhaps on a tee) at the end of a table. A third group member can then carefully mark where the golf ball strikes the floor and measure the horizontal distance it travelled from the edge of the table. Use example prompts such as the following.

         We released the club head from a set height in order to….

         We maintained a set height by …

         We released the club head from rest (instead of pushing it) in order to….

         The horizontal distance travelled by the ball is a measure of ball speed because….

3.      Students might repeat the previous action, this time releasing the club head from a position almost directly above the pivot point, so that it falls about twice as far before hitting the ball. Use prompts such as the following.

         We released the club head from a greater height in order to….

         The distance the ball travelled was (greater/less) than before because….

4. Students might repeat the previous actions, but with a more massive club head. Use prompts such as the following to suggest a change in variables.

         We changed the mass of the club head in order to….

         The distance the ball travelled was (greater/less) than with the smaller mass because….

         The combination of mass and starting height that hit the ball the farthest was….

         The distance the ball travelled with the large mass/small height combination was (greater/less than/the same as) the distance travelled with the small mass/large height combination because….

 

Media Research Option

Groups might have questions that are best explored using print media and online resources. Students should brainstorm to form a list of key words and phrases they could use in Internet search engines that might result in resources that will help them answer the question. Review how to safely browse the Web, how to evaluate information on the Internet for accuracy, and how to correctly cite the information found. Suggest students make note of any interesting tangents they find in their research effort for future inquiry. Encourage students with prompts such as the following:                            

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         Words and phrases associated with our question are….

         The reliability of our sources was established by….

         The science and math concepts that underpin a possible solution are….

         Our research might feed into an engineering design solution such as….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

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….

 

An example claim might be:

As evidenced by the greater distance that the putts missed the target by when using the club with the shorter club face, we claim that club face rotation during impact with the ball changes the path of the ball, because the ball can more easily twist the club with the lower rotational inertia.

 

Compare Findings

Encourage students to compare their ideas with 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 ideas are similar to those discussed by researchers, published on the Internet, who have done detailed studies of club head design. I found that a club head with its mass spread out closer to its edges has higher rotational inertia and will twist less during an off-center impact with the ball.

 

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 know 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….

         To improve my investigation, I wish I had spent more time on….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

Inquiry Assessment

See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 16.

 

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Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan

 

Integrate Video in Instruction

Visualize Concepts:  Use the video to support a discussion on the meaning of the word mass. Have students focus on the portion of the video from 1:10–1:32 and then discuss how they might decide that one of two objects is more massive. Be sure to distinguish mass from the two other concepts with which it is most often confused: volume and weight.

 

Homework:  Have students individually (or as part of small teams) research the standard masses of implements used in various sports, such as golf (clubs), baseball (bats), or tennis (rackets), and the masses of the balls used in these sports. Have them share their findings with the class the next day. A topic of discussion could be how the masses of the balls compare to the masses of the implements used to hit them. In particular, the masses of the implements must be considerably more than the masses of the balls being struck with them, so that the ball’s velocity will change much more than that of the implement. However, if the implement is too massive, it will be hard for the player to swing, thus reducing the ball’s velocity. Generally, the implements have been engineered to maximize ball speed.

 

Using the 5E Approach?

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

Explore:  Use the Design Investigations section of Facilitate Inquiry to support your lessons on mass, force, and acceleration, or (for more advanced classes) rotational inertia, torque, and angular acceleration.

Elaborate:  Rotational inertia (moment of inertia) is an important consideration in many design and engineering problems. Have students do an Internet search on moment of inertia along with design or engineering to see what types of applications appear. Have students explain why moment of inertia is important for each application. For example, spin-stabilized satellites are most stable when rotating about the axis that has the highest moment of inertia, so that the satellite’s shape (and hence distribution of mass) is a critical part of the design process.

 

Connect to … Language Arts

Many physics terms—such as energy, work, power, and momentum—are used frequently in everyday language. Inertia—used in this video both in the rotational sense and in the simpler sense of mass—is such a term. Have students use a thesaurus or dictionary to find synonyms or definitions for inertia outside the realm of physics (an example is laziness). Discuss ways in which non-physics uses of the word are similar to, or different from, the way it is used in physics. To take this idea further, have students brainstorm to think of other science or specific physics terms or words that have uses outside their official subject area.

 

Use Video as a Writing Prompt

Explain to students that they will use the concepts from the video to define mass and rotational inertia. Project the video segment discussing these concepts (1:10–2:13), showing it at least twice. Have the students write a paragraph discussing what these two terms mean and describing at least one example each of how mass and rotational inertia are relevant and can be experienced in everyday life.

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Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students

 

The Science of Golf: Evolution of the Golf Club

Use this guide to investigate a question about the design of golf clubs and how the design is related to its functionality. 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. Look up information as needed. Add safety precautions.

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

         The aspect of golf club design we will be working on is….

         This aspect of golf club design is important because….

         The variables we will be working with are….

         We will evaluate our design by….

         To conduct the investigation safely, we will….

 

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 show. 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?

         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….

         To improve my investigation, I wish I had spent more time on….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

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COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students (High School)

 

The Science of Golf: Evolution of the Golf Club

Use this guide to investigate the role of rotational inertia in the design of golf clubs. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Why is rotational inertia an important consideration in the design of golf clubs?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to answer the question. Write a procedure that controls variables and allows you to gather valid data. Add safety precautions as needed. Use these prompts to help you design your investigation.

         The golf club we will be designing or using will be….

         We will vary the rotational inertia of the club head by….

         We will hold the mass of the club head constant by….

         We will hold the off-center distance of the impact constant by….

         We will measure the deviation of the ball from its intended path by….

         We predict that the most deviation will occur with the (low/high) rotational inertia club….

         To conduct the investigation safely, I need to….

 

An Idea for Investigative Design

You might do this by having group members take turns putting a golf ball towards a target (such as the 50 centimeter mark of a meter stick) perhaps two meters away, and recording the centimeter mark the ball actually hits. Do this for each club using the center of the club face, and again using off-center (by perhaps 4 centimeters) marks for the point of contact of the ball and the club.

 

Record Data and Observations

Organize your observations using a chart similar to the one below.

 

Centimeter Mark Struck by Ball (Target = X cm)

Club rotational inertia

Distance (cm) of impact point from center of club

Strike point on target meter stick: Group member 1

Strike point on target meter stick: Group member 2

Strike point on target meter stick: Group member 3

Average strike point

Low

0

 

 

 

 

Low

4

 

 

 

 

High

0

 

 

 

 

High

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ideas for Analyzing Data

         How far from the target was the average strike point for each club and impact point? What can you conclude about how rotational inertia affects accuracy for off-center putts?

         What was the average difference between the impact points and the average for that club/strike-point combination? How large is this value compared to the differences between the average values for the different club/strike-point combinations? How does this affect the certainty of your conclusion about how rotational inertia affects accuracy for off-center putts?

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data show. 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….

 

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….

         To improve my investigation, I wish I had spent more time on….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

 

 

 

 

(13)

 


 

COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students (Middle School)

 

The Science of Golf: Evolution of the Golf Club

Use this guide to investigate how the mass and size of a golf club face affect the motion of a golf ball. Write your lab report in your science notebook.

 

Ask Beginning Questions

Why is mass an important consideration in the design of golf clubs?

 

Design Investigations

Brainstorm with your teammates about how to answer the question. Write a procedure that controls variables and allows you to gather valid data. Add safety precautions as needed. Use these prompts to help you design your investigation.

         The golf club we will be designing or using will be….

         We will control the mass of the club head by….

         We will control the speed of the club head by….

         We will measure the distance the ball travels by….

         We predict that the greatest distance will occur with….

         To conduct the investigation safely, I need to….

 

An Idea for Investigative Design

You might have one group member hold the pivot, another release the club head, and another mark the landing point and measure horizontal distance travelled. Do this for each of the four combinations of club head mass and release height.

 

Record Data and Observations

Organize your procedure and observations.

 

Distance Travelled by Ball

 

Club head mass (grams or number of identical blocks)

Club head release height (centimeters above lowest point of swing)

Horizontal distance travelled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(14)


Ideas for Analyzing Data

For each release point, divide the distance travelled by the ball when struck by the high mass club by the distance travelled by the ball when struck by the low mass club. Repeat this using the higher release point. Next, divide the distance travelled using the high release point by the distance using the low release point, with the low club head mass. Repeat this for the high club head mass. Which, if either, affected the distance more—doubling the club head mass or doubling the release height?

 

Make a Claim Backed by Evidence

Analyze your data and then make one or more claims based on the evidence your data show. 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….

 

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….

         To improve my investigation, I wish I had spent more time on….

         Another investigation I would like to explore is….

 

 

 

(15)


 

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 resulted 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 appeared invalid or were not recorded appropriately.

Detailed observations were made and properly recorded and data were 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.

 

(16)

 

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