SCIENCE OF GOLF: Kinematics  STEM Lesson Plan (Grades 612)
Objective:
Students will investigate questions about systems for determining the speed of golf greens, and the design and use of the Stimpmeter®.
Introduction Notes:
Science of GOLF
Kinematics
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................................................................................................................ 4
Connect to Engineering............................................................................................................... 4
Connect to Math.......................................................................................................................... 5
Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry.............................................................................. 5
Explore Understanding................................................................................................................ 5
Ask Beginning Questions............................................................................................................. 6
Design Investigations................................................................................................................... 6
Possible Materials........................................................................................................... 6
Open Choice Approach.................................................................................................... 6
Focused Approach............................................................................................................ 7
Media Research Option................................................................................................... 9
Make a Claim Backed by Evidence............................................................................................. 9
Compare Findings........................................................................................................................ 9
Reflect on Learning................................................................................................................... 10
Inquiry Assessment.................................................................................................................... 10
Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan...................................................... 10
Integrate Video in Instruction.................................................................................................... 10
Bellringer....................................................................................................................... 10
Homework..................................................................................................................... 10
Using the 5E Approach?................................................................................................. 10
Connect to … Driver’s Education............................................................................................... 11
Connect to … Botany.................................................................................................................. 11
Use Video as a Writing Prompt................................................................................................. 11
Copy Masters .............................................................................................. 12
Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students................................................................................... 12
Focused Inquiry Guide for Students........................................................................................... 13
Assessment Rubric for Inquiry Investigations............................................................................ 15
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Background and Planning Information
About the Video
This video discusses the importance of putting in golf, the use of a device called a Stimpmeter® for determining the speed of a green, and how a branch of physics called kinematics applies to the use of this device. It features Steve Quintavalla, Ph.D. (Mechanical Engineering), a senior research engineer for the United States Golf Association (USGA). Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golfer Suzann Pettersen and Walker Cup team member Drew Weaver also give their insights. The video goes into detail regarding the design specifications of the Stimpmeter, and how the negative acceleration or deceleration of the ball on the green surface can be calculated. This is a good example of how physics can be applied to solve practical problems.
Video Timeline
0:00 0:15 Series opening
0:16 0:31 Introducing the idea of reading the green
0:32 0:48 Introducing Suzann Pettersen and what she sees as she putts
0:49 1:05 Describing factors that impact greens speed with input from Drew Weaver
1:06 1:29 Introducing Steve Quintavalla and the Stimpmeter
1:30 2:00 Describing kinematics and its use in measuring greens speed
2:01 2:39 Discussing the specifications of the Stimpmeter and how it is used
2:40 3:12 Defining speed and velocity and how they are determined by the Stimpmeter
3:13 3:41 Discussion of negative acceleration due to rolling resistance
3:42 4:19 Determining average negative acceleration
4:20 4:53 Calculating the speed of the green
4:54 5:31 Describing other challenges in putting in addition to greens speeds
5:32 5:48 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
MSPS21. Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
MSPS22. 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.
HSPS21. 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.
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Energy
MSPS31. Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
HSPS33. Design, build, and refine a device that works within given constraints to convert one form of energy into another form of energy.
Engineering Design
MSETS11. Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
MSETS12. Evaluate competing design solutions using a systematic process to determine how well they meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.
MSETS13. Analyze data from tests to determine similarities and differences among several design solutions to identify the best characteristics of each that can be combined into a new solution to better meet the criteria for success.
MSETS14. Develop a model to generate data for iterative testing and modification of a proposed object, tool, or process such that an optimal design can be achieved.
Promote STEM with Video
Connect to Science
Kinematics, which is a branch of classical mechanics in thescience of physics, is involved in the determination of greens speed (an indirect measure of the negative acceleration, or deceleration, of a golf ball rolling across the green). The kinematics discussed in this video is used early in introductory physics courses, or perhaps even middle school courses in physical science.
Related Science Concepts
• kinematics
• speed
• acceleration
• energy conservation
Take Action with Students
• Most students will be familiar with the concepts of average speed and average acceleration. After viewing the video, ask students to write both formal and operational definitions, using whatever symbols they know. Extend the idea for physics students by asking them how they would find distance traveled while uniformly decelerating to rest, given the (negative) acceleration and the time.
• Physics students might try to confirm the video’s claim that the ball has an acceleration of 8.4 feet per second per second (2.5 meters per second per second), using the 21degree
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angle, the acceleration due to gravity, and an assumption that the ball is a solid, uniformdensity sphere. This acceleration, along with kinematics (including the 29.4inch rolling distance), or conservation of mechanical energy, can also be used to check the claimed 6.4 feet per second (2 meters per second) speed at the bottom of the ramp. Advanced students might compare their calculations to the claims in order to deduce whether or not the ball can be considered a solid, uniformdensity sphere. Another question might be whether or not the Vshaped channel (as opposed to a planar surface) affects the acceleration.
• Physics students might use the video’s example of rolling 9 feet, 5 inches and the supposed initial speed of 6.4 feet per second to calculate the negative acceleration of the ball across the green and (optionally) the coefficient of rolling friction.
Connect to Technology
The Stimpmeter is remarkably lowtech, but is an example of technology just the same, and very effective for its purpose. Even in our complex world, there is still a place for a variety of simple solutions to a problem, where a more complex or expensive one may not be costeffective or even as good as the simpler method.
Take Action with Students
• Before students watch the video, have them ponder how greens speeds might be determined, and suggest methods that could be used. Likely many of them will be solutions more technologically advanced than the Stimpmeter. Then introduce them to the Stimpmeter and have them discuss how their suggestions might be an improvement – or not as effective – in terms of accuracy, cost, and ease of use.
• Show students the USGA slideshow on the History of the Stimpmeter at http://www.usga.org/PhotoHubGallery.aspx?page=4. Have students evaluate the design changes and advantages of the current model.
• Have students brainstorm to think of lowtech devices that have been invented over the years to solve everyday problems. Have them also think of hightech alternatives, and discuss the pros and cons of each. One example: manual and electric pencil sharpeners.
Connect to Engineering
The engineering design process involves identifying problems and finding solutions, usually as part of an ongoing cycle of innovation. The Stimpmeter is a rather simple example of an engineered solution, but one that effectively solves the problem.
Take Action with Students
• One part of the Stimpmeter that is only briefly described in the video is the automatic release mechanism (the notch) for the ball, which relieves the user of the problem of measuring the 21degree angle. Have students watch the video carefully to try to determine just how this part of the Stimpmeter works; what aspects of the notch ensure release at the proper angle; and how this solution may be superior to having the operator use a protractor to determine the angle.
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• Part of the engineering design process involves creating a solution that is costeffective to manufacture. Have students do research to suggest how the Stimpmeter’s Vshaped channel might be fabricated. Is it likely to be molded, cast in one piece, or assembled from multiple parts? Does it emerge from the process initially smooth, or is some kind of polishing necessary? Guide the class to list pros and cons of each method, and give reasons why they think a given method might be the best.
Connect to Math
Math is involved in the use of the Stimpmeter, in determining angles and calculating distances.
Take Action with Students
• Have students use the concepts from the video to do calculations involving initial and final speeds, elapsed time, and acceleration. Show the portions of the video, starting at about 2:40 and 3:30, in which such calculations are made. Give the students similar problems with numbers different from those in the video, showing the segments at least twice before expecting students to complete the calculations. Alternately, pause the video as needed so students can complete the calculations as the examples are shown.
• High school students who have had trigonometry can calculate the height of the ball above the green, using the 21degree angle and the 29.4inch distance of the ball from the end of the ramp. Then, pause the video at 0:54 or at 2:03 to see if the angle and height match the claim and the students’ calculations.
Facilitate SCIENCE Inquiry
Encourage inquiry using a strategy modeled on the researchbased 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 12.
Explore Understanding
Most students will have an intuitive understanding of speed and perhaps a less clear understanding of acceleration. They may not, however, be able to define these terms precisely or work with them in a meaningful way to solve problems involving distance, time, speed, and acceleration. Elicit from students their knowledge about these concepts. Use prompts such as the following.
• It is important to distinguish average speed from speed at a given instant because….
• The definition of average acceleration over some interval of time is….
• If we know the initial and final speeds of an object that accelerated uniformly, and the elapsed time, we can find the distance traveled by….
Show the video Science of Golf: Kinematics. Continue the discussion of kinematics and how the Stimpmeter employs kinematics, using prompts such as:
• When I watched the video, I thought about….
• The video describes speed, velocity, and acceleration as….
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• The terms acceleration, negative acceleration, and deceleration compare in that….
• The reason for the fixed angle and specific Stimpmeter length is to ensure….
• What is referred to in the video as green speed is actually….
• It is important to be able to measure green speed because….
Ask Beginning Questions
Stimulate smallgroup 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 measure greens speed. 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 does the green speed impact the putt?
• How does the Stimpmeter ensure a consistent starting speed for the ball on the green?
• How does a greater negative acceleration affect the time the ball rolls on the green?
• How does a greater negative acceleration affect the distance the ball rolls on the green?
• Why were the 21degree angle and 29.4inch distance chosen?
• How does the user influence the Stimpmeter reading?
• What other methods could accomplish the same goals?
Design Investigations
Choose one of the following options based on your students’ knowledge, creativity, and ability level and your available materials. Actual materials needed will 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 meter sticks, pieces of cove molding, angled aluminum, or posterboard; golf balls; protractors; and a surface covered in grass, turf, or carpeting.
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 12)
Groups might come together to agree on one question for which they will 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….
• We might create a method for measuring green speed by….
• The variables in developing our method might be….
• We might test our method by….
• To conduct the investigation safely, we will….
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Focused Approach (Copy Master pages 13–14)
Note to Teachers: There are many different activities and calculations students might do here: simple use of a Stimpmeter; use of dynamics and kinematics to calculate acceleration, speed, time, or distance; or explorations of conversion of energy from gravitational potential, to kinetic potential, to heat.
The following exemplifies how students might make a Stimpmeter and use it to determine the speed (actually rolling distance starting with a standardized speed) of one or more surfaces. Calculations of speed, time, and acceleration (both the positive acceleration on the Stimpmeter and the negative acceleration across the surface) may also be made, depending on the level and physics background of the students.
1. After students examine the materials you have available for making a Stimpmeter, ask them questions such as the following to help them envision their investigation.
• How might we make a Stimpmeter similar to the one in the video?
• How might our Stimpmeter be different from the one in the video?
• What surfaces might we use it on?
2. Students might make a simple Stimpmeter by holding two meter sticks together to form a Vshaped channel between them. A golf ball can be held 29.4 inches (74.7 centimeters) from the end, and released by some method of the students’ choice, when the sticks are elevated to an angle of 21 degrees, measured using a protractor. The distance the ball rolls across the surface can then be measured.
• The part of the golf ball (i.e., front, middle, or back) held at the 29.4 inch mark might matter because….
• The angle of the V in the channel might matter because….
• We might avoid the need to use the protractor on every roll by….
• To conduct the investigation safely, we will….
3. Students might use the Stimpmeter on two or three different surfaces, such as carpet, turf, or real grass, to get green speed measurements like those on actual golf greens. Students might try predicting the distances in advance, based on the video’s statement that typical greens have speeds on the order of nine feet. Ideally, the procedure of using the average of three rolls in each of two opposite directions should be followed.
• The surface on which the ball rolls the farthest is _____ because….
• The direction of roll might make a difference because….
• Compared to distances rolled on a real green, our distances are (greater/less)….
• Trying more than three trials changed our reading by _____ because….
4. Students might try rolling the ball from three different distances on the ramp, and record the distance rolled in each case. A likely finding would be a direct proportion between the distance rolled on the ramp and the distance rolled across the surface, which supports the law of energy conservation. In terms of energy, this would be true because work equals force times distance, and the component of gravitational force down the ramp is constant, as the force of rolling friction probably is in each case.
• When the ball is rolled from twice the original distance, the work done on the ball…. (Likely 2x)
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• When the ball is rolled from twice the original distance, the distance the ball rolls…. (Likely 2x)
• A graph of our data would look like….
• When the ball is rolled from twice the original distance, the force of friction…. (Has little impact, as friction is largely independent of speed.)
• The initial gravitational potential energy of the ball turned into….
5. Students with knowledge of kinematics might carefully measure the time the ball takes to roll down the ramp and the time it rolls across the surface, using a stopwatch or more sophisticated equipment such as a photogate. By using kinematic relationships among speed, distance, and (assumed uniform) acceleration, and releasing from the standard 21 degree angle and 74.7centimeter distance, students might check to see if the time, speed, and acceleration cited in the video are accurate, as applied to this Stimpmeter.
• Compared to the values claimed in the video, these calculations for speed are (smaller/larger/about the same), because….
• Compared to the values claimed in the video, the calculations for negative acceleration are (smaller/larger/about the same), because…. (e.g., errors in timing, nonuniform acceleration, different “V” angle in the Stimpmeter)
• If the final speed calculated from timing the roll down the ramp was different from the initial speed calculated from rolling across the surface, this would suggest…. (e.g., errors in timing, nonuniform acceleration)
6. Students who know or are learning kinematics might make a speedversustime graph showing a linearly increasing speed of the ball from rest to a final speed just as it leaves the Stimpmeter, and then slowing linearly from this speed to a state of rest. Students might assume the standard final speed of 6.4 feet per second (just under 2 meters per second) and calculate the times. Alternatively, they might have measured the times and know the distances, and use these to calculate the final speed. In each case, they should learn to visualize the slope of this graph as the acceleration, and the area under the curve as the distance traveled. If they have done rolls from multiple distances, they could make multiple, superimposed graphs.
• The general shape of this graph should be….
• The slope of this graph represents the….
• The area enclosed between this graph and the time axis represents the….
• The ratio of the distance rolled on the surface to the distance rolled down the Stimpmeter is….
• The ratio of the (negative) acceleration on the surface to the acceleration on the Stimpmeter is….
• If the ball had been rolling twice the speed when leaving the Stimpmeter, it would have rolled…. (4x as far, as the triangle on the graph would be twice as tall and twice as wide)
7. Advanced physics students (those taking AP Mechanics C) may be able to calculate theoretical values for acceleration, time, and speed rolling down the ramp, by assuming the ball to be a uniformdensity solid sphere, with moment of inertia = 2/5 MR^{2}. These could be compared to values obtained experimentally from the studentmade Stimpmeter, the values claimed in the video, or both.
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• Theoretically, the acceleration, time, and speed of the ball at the bottom of the ramp should be ____ because….
• Using the data from our Stimpmeter, our values for the acceleration, time, and speed of the ball at the bottom of the ramp compared with those in the video by….
• Any differences between our data and those in the video might be due to…. (possibilities include nonuniform density of the ball, effective radius at which torque is applied due to contact points on the Vshaped ramp, measurement errors, etc.)
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:
• 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 rolled on carpet versus real grass, we claim that the negative acceleration on grass is greater than that on carpet, because the grass imposed more frictional force on the ball than the carpet did.
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 on what constitutes a consistent and effective system for measuring greens speeds are similar to those discussed by presenters in the video and practiced by the USGA. However, I found that there are a variety of ways this might be done, and different methods each have their merits and drawbacks.
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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….
• Another investigation I would like to explore is….
Inquiry Assessment
See the rubric included in the student Copy Masters on page 15
Incorporate Video into Your Lesson Plan
Integrate Video in Instruction
Bellringer: Play the video with the sound muted as students are getting settled, on a day when the focus of your coursework is speed, velocity, and acceleration. Hold a brief discussion about what students observed and the questions that the video raised, and note these on the board or chart paper. Address their observations and questions as points in your presentation.
Homework: The video briefly shows kinematic calculations pertaining to the roll of the ball down the Stimpmeter, but is less thorough with the ball’s motion across the green. Have students use the example of a 9foot, 5inch roll to calculate the (negative, and assumed to be uniform) acceleration of the ball as it rolls across the green. Have them repeat the calculation for the case of a “fast” green on which the ball rolls 13 feet.
Using the 5E Approach?
If you use a 5E approach to lesson plans, consider incorporating video in these Es:
Engage: Use the video as the students’ initial exposure to kinematics. This will allow students to see how kinematics can be an interesting and useful topic to study. As the kinematic concepts discussed in the video are encountered in the students’ standard text or other materials, the video can be shown again to compare the terminology, definitions, and symbols used. As the students master the curriculum’s kinematic concepts, they can use these to corroborate the calculations shown in the video.
Explain: Claims are made in the video, such as that the ball reaches a speed of 6.4 feet per second and travels 29.4 inches in 0.8 seconds. A quick calculation will show that if one naively applies the equation (speed = distance/time) to this, answers will be off by a factor of about two. This is because it is actually average speed that equals distance/time, and the 6.4 ft/s value is a final speed. Have students brainstorm to explain this distinction and why the two are different by a factor of two.
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Explain: Advanced physics students might be asked to explain why the acceleration down the Stimpmeter is 8.4 ft/s/s (2 m/s/s), based on the angle being 21 degrees. They will have learned that the acceleration due to gravity is 9.8 m/s/s, and may have also learned that the downtheplane acceleration should be this value times the sine of the angle. Even this, though, does not produce the claimed value, because the same friction that causes the ball to roll instead of sliding also decreases the acceleration. If students have learned about moment of inertia, they may use this to refine the prediction of acceleration. Finally, the angle of the “V” of the Stimpmeter could have an effect. Students should be asked to explain how all these factors affect the predicted value.
Connect to … Driver’s Education
Older students may have taken a driver’s education course, in which braking distance is discussed and presented in the form of tables of braking distance as a function of speed. It is often beyond the scope of such courses to explain the mathematical form of this relation or physical reasons for it. Students may notice that the ball slowing as it travels across the green is very similar to a car slowing down while braking. Have students use the same types of calculations done in the video or in the inquiry to find braking distance from initial speed and known braking deceleration (from various online sources). Alternatively, have students use braking distance versus speed information from driver’s education course materials to deduce the assumed deceleration. In either case, have students draw speedversustime graphs for two cars with the same uniform (with respect to time) deceleration, with one having twice the initial speed as the other. They should see that the area (representing braking distance) for the one with twice the initial speed is four times as great (triangle twice as tall and twice as wide).
Connect to … Botany
The rolling friction measured by a Stimpmeter is a function of many factors, including the length of the grass, whether it is wet or dry, and what type of grass it is. Many grass varieties are used, partly depending on climate and soil type. Also, the direction of the “grain” of the grass is very important – which is one reason for using the Stimpmeter in two opposite directions and averaging. Grain can depend on factors such as the direction of water drainage and perhaps even the direction of the sun (phototropism). Have students research the history of grasses used for golf greens, how these grasses are mowed and managed, and whether any of them are hybrids developed for this particular purpose.
Use Video as a Writing Prompt
After students view the video, have them make an analogy between the concepts presented here and the actions of another sport. Tell them to use the terms speed, velocity, and acceleration in their analogies.
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Copy Master: Open Choice Inquiry Guide for Students
The Science of Golf: Kinematics
Use this guide to investigate a question about how one might design a system for determining the speed of greens in golf. 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 and add safety precautions as needed..
• Information we need to understand before we can start our investigation is….
• The principle on which our system will be based is….
• We will construct any equipment needed by….
• The procedure to be used with our equipment is….
• We will evaluate or test our system 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 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?
• 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….
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COPY MASTER: Focused Inquiry Guide for Students
The Science of Golf: Kinematics
Use this guide to investigate a question about Stimpmeters. Write your lab report in your science notebook.
Ask Beginning Questions
How can we make a Stimpmeter and use it to compare the speeds of different surfaces?
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.
• To make a Stimpmeter like the one in the video, we will….
• Our Stimpmeter will be different from the one in the video in that….
• The surfaces whose speeds we will measure are….
• Besides the actual use of the Stimpmeter, kinematic relationships we can explore in this context are…. (Note: answers to this will vary by level and experience of the students)
• To conduct the investigation safely, I need to….
Record Data and Observations
Organize your observations in tables and graphs as appropriate. Use the examples for ideas.
Results of Stimpmeter Use on Various Surfaces
Surface 
Distance in Initial Direction 
Distance in Opposite Direction 
Overall Average 


Trial 1 
Trial 2 
Trial 3 
Average 
Trial 1 
Trial 2 
Trial 3 
Average 



















































Results of Stimpmeter Releasing from Various Distances on a Given Surface
Release Distance 
Distance in Initial Direction 
Distance in Opposite Direction 
Overall Average 


Trial 1 
Trial 2 
Trial 3 
Average 
Trial 1 
Trial 2 
Trial 3 
Average 



















































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Ideas for Analyzing Data
• How did the different surfaces tested compare to one another and to the typical rolling distances for actual golf greens, as discussed in the video?
• What relationship did you find between the release distance and the rolling distance? What explanation might you have for this relationship?
• How well did your kinematic calculations of acceleration, speed, distance, or time (based on the standard Stimpmeter attributes) corroborate the claims in the video? What are possible reasons for any differences?
• What sources of error might there be in this experiment? How might you minimize the effects of these?
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….
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….
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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. 
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