Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Charge and Charge Models

Figure from experiment 17 from Physics Explorations and Projects


This project challenges students to build a simple, mechanical Rube Goldberg-type machine. All the energy involved should be mechanical energy, so no thermal energy, electrical energy, or electromagnetic energy is allowed.

The general approach is to provide some level of excitement around the possibilities by showing students some of the resources noted below, or videos of past classes' work. Then explain the criteria for the activity, the resources available and the constraints (such as time and space).

We have provided an example Student Information handout with a fair level of detail as a starting point. You will need to customize this for your own situation depending on your particular goals and time constraints.

Learning Outcomes

  • Draw a conclusion and formulate a model based on data and observations from the investigation.
  • Clearly explain how the model explains the phenomena observed.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Next Generation Science Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas

  • PS2.B Types of Interactions
  • PS3.A Definitions of Energy

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Patterns
  • Cause and Effect
  • Systems and System Models
  • Energy and Matter

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Developing and Using Models
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations
  • Analyzing and Interpreting Data
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
  • Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Experiment 17 from Physics Explorations and Projects Lab Book

<i>Physics Explorations and Projects</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

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