Grades 912 Performance Task
Contributed by: New York State Education Department (NYSED)
Developed through University of Buffalo and NORC (1991)
Description:
Students design and carry out an experiment testing
Hooke's Law, which describes the relationship between the force
applied to a spring and its elongation (stretch).
This task assesses students' abilities to design
an experiment (with hypothesis, expected effect, and description
of independent and dependent variables, procedures for investigation,
and plan for organizing observations), collect consistent and
accurate data, complete a data table, create a graph with plotted
points, calculate force and stretch, and make conclusions consistent
with scientific principles and identifying sources of error.
This task is designed to take students approximately
80 minutes to complete  30 minutes for Part A (designing the
experiment) and 50 minutes for Part B (completing the experiment).
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
4.1 Objects change their motion only when a net force is
applied. Laws of motion are used to calculate precisely the effects
of forces on the motion of objects. The magnitude of the change
in motion can be calculated using the relatio12ip F=ma, which is
independent of the nature of the force. Whenever one object exerts
force on another, a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction
is exerted on the first object.
(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
AL1: Understand patterns, relations and
functions:
Grades 912 k. analyze functions of one variable by investigating
rates of change, intercepts, zeros, asymptotes, and local and global
behavior
AL2: Represent and analyze mathematical
situations and structures using algebraic symbols:
Grades 912 j. understand the meaning of equivalent forms
of expressions, equations, inequalities, and relations
Grades 912 k. write equivalent forms of equations, inequalities,
and systems of equations and solve them with fluencymentally or
with paper and pencil in simple cases and using technology in all
cases
Grades 912 l. use symbolic algebra to represent and explain
mathematical relationships
AL4: Analyze change in various contexts:
Grades 912 f. approximate and interpret rates of change
form graphical and numerical data
DAP1: Formulate questions that can be addressed
with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer
them:
Grades 912 l. understand the meaning of measurement data
and categorical data, of univariate and bivariate data, and of the
term variable
Grades 912 m. understand histograms, parallel box plots,
and scatter plots and use them to display data
PS1: Build new mathematical knowledge through
problem solving:
Grades 912
RP3: Develop and evaluate mathematical arguments
and proofs:
Grades 912
COM4: Use the language of mathematics to
express mathematical ideas precisely:
Grades 912
REP2: Select, apply, and translate among mathematical
representations to solve problems:
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 "Hooke's Law":
 a set of masses which total 1 kg
 Hooke's Law Apparatus (or equivalent)
 graph paper
 Sample Spring A
 Cclamp
 calculator
Note: The objective is to have students determine whether their
spring will stretch 0.3m when 15N is attached. They should not
have 15N available to make this determination.
Advance Preparation:
None
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.
Extensions/Modifications:
None
