Grades 912 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
Developed through University of Buffalo and NORC (1991)
Description:
Students will determine the power dissipated in
the combination of two resistors connected in series to a 6 volt
battery.
This task assesses students' abilities to develop
procedures for an investigation, develop a plan for recording
and organizing observations and data, observe and collect data,
plot an appropriate graph, make accurate calculations, and write
a detailed conclusion.
This task is designed to take students approximately
80 minutes to complete  30 minutes for Part A and 50 minutes
for Part B.
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:
12 A SI 1: Abilities necessary to do scientific
inquiry: Grades 912
1.2 Design and conduct scientific investigations. Designing
and conducting a scientific investigation requires introduction
to the major concepts in the area being investigated, proper equipment,
safety precautions, assistance with methodological problems, recommendations
for use of technologies, clarification of ideas that guide the
inquiry, and scientific knowledge obtained from sources other
than the actual investigation. The investigation may also require
student clarification of the question, method, controls, and variables;
student organization and display of data; student revision of
methods and explanations; and a public presentation of the results
with a critical response from peers. Regardless of the scientific
investigation performed, students must use evidence, apply logic,
and construct an argument for their proposed explanations.
1.3 Use technology and mathematics to improve
investigations and communications. A variety of technologies,
such as hand tools, measuring instruments, and calculators, should
be an integral component of scientific investigations. The use
of computers for the collection, analysis, and display of data
is also a part of this standard. Mathematics plays an essential
role in all aspects of an inquiry. For example, measurement is
used for posing questions, formulas are used for developing explanations,
and charts and graphs are used for communicating results.
1.4 Formulate and revise scientific explanations
and models using logic and evidence. Student inquiries should
culminate in formulating an explanation or model. Models should
be physical, conceptual, and mathematical. In the process of answering
the questions, the students should engage in discussions and arguments
that result in the revision of their explanations. These discussions
should be based on scientific knowledge, the use of logic, and
evidence from their investigation.
12 B PS 4: Motions and forces: Grades
912
4.5 Electricity and magnetism are two aspects of a single
electromagnetic force. Moving electric charges produce magnetic
forces, and moving magnets produce electric forces. These effects
help students to understand electric motors and generators.
(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:
NO3: Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates:
Grades 912 n. develop
fluency in operations with real numbers, vectors, and matrices,
using mental computation or paperandpencil calculations for
simple cases and technology for morecomplicated cases.
Grades 912 o. judge
the reasonableness of numerical computations and their results.
MEAS1: Understand measurable
attributes of objects and the units, systems, and processes
of measurement:
Grades 912 m.
make decisions about units and scales that are appropriate for
problem situations involving measurement
PS2: Solve problems that arise in mathematics and
in other contexts:
Grades 912
COM4: Use the language of mathematics to express
mathematical ideas precisely:
Grades 912
REP1: Create and use representations to organize,
record, and communicate mathematical ideas:
Grades 912
REP3: Use representations to model and interpret
physical, social, and mathematical phenomena:
Grades 912
General Instructions to the Teacher:
This task is designed to take students approximately
80 minutes to complete.
Students will be working individually during this
exercise.
Students should be ready to work as soon as the
period begins. 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 "Electric Circuits":
At each station students will need:
Notes: If 20 ohm resistors or 6 volt batteries are not available,
choose resistors to match your power supply, or use two lamps.