Grades 58 Performance Task
Contributed by: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO/SCASS)
Description:
This event asks students to determine the average speed of a toy car
as it travels six different distances set up by the students. Three
trials are done for each distance. The only requirement is that the
longest distance must be at least three times longer than the shortest
distance used. Students use their experience to describe an experiment
to determine if cars that pass by the school are speeding.
This task is designed to take students approximately 40  50 minutes
to complete.
Overall Task Content Area:

 Physical Science
Specific Knowledge Areas:

 Motions and forces
Performance Expectations:
 conducting investigations
 using equipment
 gathering, organizing, and representing data
 formulating conclusions from investigational data
 applying scientific principles to develop explanations and solve
new problems
National Science Education Standards:
8 B PS 2: Motions and forces: Grades 58
2.1 The motion of an object can be described by
its position, direction of motion, and speed. That motion can be measured
and represented on a graph.
8 A SI 1: Ability necessary to do scientific inquiry:
Grades 58
1.2 Design and conduct a scientific investigation. Students
should develop general abilities, such as systematic observation,
making accurate measurements, and identifying and controlling variables.
They should also develop the ability to clarify their ideas that
are influencing and guiding the inquiry, and to understand how those
ideas compare with current scientific knowledge. Students can learn
to formulate questions, design investigations, execute investigations,
interpret data, use evidence to generate explanations, propose alternative
explanations, and critique explanations and procedures.
1.4 Develop descriptions, explanations, predictions, and
models using evidence. Students should base their explanation on
what they observed, and as they develop cognitive skills, they should
be able to differentiate explanation from description — providing
causes for effects and establishing relationships based on evidence
and logical argument. This standards requires a subject knowledge
base so the students can effectively conduct investigations, because
developing explanations establishes connections between the content
of science and the contexts within which students develop new knowledge.
(Use the "hot" link on the PALS home page
to check the full text of related National Science Education Standards,
if desired.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics:
DAP2: Select and use appropriate statistical
methods to analyze data :
Grades 68 e. find, use, and interpret
measures of center and spread, including mean and interquartile
range
DAP3: Develop and evaluate inferences
and predictions that are based on data:
Grades 68 e. use conjectures to formulate
new questions and plan new studies to answer them
AL1: Understand patterns, relations and functions:
Grades 68 f. represent, analyze, and generalize a variety
of patterns with tables, graphs, words, and, when possible, symbolic
rules
MEAS2: Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas
to determine measurements:
Grades 68 k. select and apply techniques and tools to
accurately find length, area, volume, and angle measures to appropriate
levels of precision
Grades 68 o. solve simple problems involving rates
and derived measurements for such attributes as velocity and density
PS2: Solve problems that arise in mathematics
and in other contexts:
Grades 68
RP3: Develop and evaluate mathematical arguments and proofs:
Grades 68
COM4: Use the language of mathematics to
express mathematical ideas precisely:
Grades 68
CNX2: Understand how mathematical ideas interconnect
and build on one another to produce a coherent whole:
Grades 68
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately 4050 minutes
to complete.
Students will be working in groups of 46 for the experiment/activity
part of this exercise.
Students work together for up to 20 minutes. They are instructed
to notify you when finished with the group work, and then to go
on to the individual work beginning with question #1. If students
are still working together 20 minutes after the testing begins,
instruct them to cease their group work and begin individual work.
At this point, they may no longer talk. Whether or not they are
just beginning their individual work, remind students that they
now have about 25 minutes to complete the individual activity.
Students should be ready to work as soon as the period begins.
Group assignments should be made in advance. The materials should
be set out at each lab station, if possible. A central supply area,
if needed, should be easily accessible. All supplies should be clearly
labeled.
Materials for "Velocity":
At this station students should have:
 selfpropelled toy car
 masking tape
 1 meter stick
 stopwatch or clock with second hand
 1 pen or pencil per student
Advance Preparation:
Care should be taken to use toy cars that are durable and roll
along a straight line when released.
The students should work on a clean, flat surface (preferably
the floor). If the room is carpeted the experiment will still work,
but the tape may not stick as well. The tape will only be used to
mark out distances.
Safety:
 Be careful.
 Teachers and students should always exercise appropriate safety
precautions and utilize appropriate laboratory safety procedures
and equipment when working on science performance tasks.
