Final Project Pendulums

1. Introduction:
• Explore Your World Day activity included Pendulums and creating pendulum art. Pendulums are not commonly used in classroom, in the classes I have had in the past at least. Students encounter pendulums throughout the day, but may not realize it. Examples of pendulums include: Grandfather clocks, metronome, swings, etc. However, many students do not learn much about pendulums in school.
• The goal for this unit is to give students a larger understanding of gravity and motion. They will learn the energy conversion that occurs in the pendulum and apply this to everyday life.

2. Unit Map or Description
• Large Scale Pendulum
o A large string hangs down from the ceiling with paint, or other type of liquid hanging from the end of the string.
o Students will have the chance to play and swing the pendulum creating their own pendulum art on the large paper beneath it.
o Students have the ability to swing the pendulum in every direction, creating a new design.
• 3 small scale Pendulums
o At this station we had three pendulum stands and attached string to each stand with a marker hanging at the end of each string. This small scare experiment allowed each student to work independently and observe how a pendulum works. Many of the students observed that if you put more than one marker on the pendulum it would create a different design.
• Three Pendulum
o This station consisted of one string hanging from one end of the ceiling to the other. On this string hung three separate lines of string, each with a large washer at the end of each. The students were given the opportunity to swing each washer to see the reaction. One student taught up about holding the washer up to your nose and letting go; the washer will never come back to the exact height, or hit your nose.

3. Conceptual Explanations
• The pendulum can be hung from the center of the ceiling, so that it swings front to back of the classroom. The students will swing the pendulum and as a group we discuss the types of energy involved in a pendulum; kinetic and potential energy.
4. Engagement, Inquiry, and End Product
• Students have the opportunity to experiment with the pendulum activities. The students took control of the activity by swinging the pendulum in different directions. As the teachers we inputted different questions and comments about the pendulum.
• The students enjoyed using the paint to create the designs on the large paper. They were able to see the lines clearly and the patters it created. This also gives students the opportunity to teach each other information they may already know about pendulums and gravity.

5. Sub-Unit Activities, Inquiry Questions, and Data Analyses
• Concepts:
o Gravity (center of gravity)
 Pendulums were used to measure the local acceleration of gravity at a certain location on Earth. The time it takes to complete a full swing from one side to the other would be determined by its length.
o Pendulum Art
 Attaching paint and/or other types of liquids to the end of the string and swinging the pendulum will show the design of the motion. Each design will be distinctive depending on how large a swing or what motion is put along with the swing of the pendulum.
• What is the purpose of a pendulum?
• What happens if the pendulum swings freely?
• What types of metapatterns will the pendulum create?
• What is a metronome?
o Inverted pendulum used to keep tempo in music.

6. Trans disciplinary (Integrative) and Patterns Opportunities
• Students are able to create different patterns using the large and small scale pendulums; the large scale will show distinctive patterns using different materials.
• Layers can be created using several different types of liquid on the large paper. Each liquid creates its own layer created the layered affect.
• Pendulums are used for timekeeping and measurement of length. It was also used to measure the local acceleration of gravity at certain locations of Earth.

7. Assessment
• What do you think would happen if we let this pendulum swing freely?
• What type of design do you think it would make?
• What information do you already know about pendulums?
• How would you define a pendulum?
o Something hanging from a fixed point which, when pulled back and release, is free to swing down by gravity and then out and up because of it inertia, or tendency to stay in motion.
• How do they work?
o Pendulums consist of a mass attached to the end of a thin cord, which is attached to a fixed point. When the mass is drawn upward and let go, the force of gravity accelerates it back to the original position.
• Students need the opportunity to play and experiment with the pendulum. Allowing them to swing the pendulum back and forth allows them to get an idea about gravity and gain a larger understanding of objects in their everyday life that act like pendulums.

8. Implementation
a. Description
• We allowed the students who participated to play with the pendulums built for them. Many of the students began to see the pattern made on the large paper by the paint and other liquids; they began to make observations of why this occurred.

b. Reflections and Critical Analysis
o Working with children is always going to be a new experience from day to day. Socializing with students may take time and effort on the teacher’s part, but once students are able to speak freely they will begin to express their opinions. At explore your world day our center encountered students from all ages and all races. Some appeared to be interested and others wanted to watch from afar. Being a messy center some parents was weary of letting their children too close to the mess. Our first interaction was with a young girl. We allowed her to hold the bottle of liquid and release it on the pendulum swing. However, that did not go according to plan. When we opened the bottle of liquid the little girl squeezed the bottle as hard as she could and sprayed blue liquid all over her pink shoes. Children are very unpredictable; we did not mind the mess, but by the expression on her parent’s faces they were not too happy. As time went on during the day, we began to allow the children to explore and create their own type of pendulum art. We assisted, but did not interfere with their creativity. The other section we had involved three strings hanging from the ceiling and one washer on the end of each string. Younger kids enjoyed swinging them back and forth and realized they all eventually end up going to same speed. An older girl taught us that if you hold the washer up to your nose and let if swing, it will never reach your nose again. Learning from children is always an interesting thing. Some conversations can be random and the child has such an amazing outlook of the world, and some can be extremely logical. Children have ideas about the world that many adults have never thought of. Adults are already programed to work with the world around them, but children still have the amazing creativity of their imaginations. If only we all had imaginations like children the world would be completely different.
c. Recommendations for Future Implementation
o To make this lesson more effective, take more time to plan out the process. What happens if a particular liquid does not work? What else can you use?

9. References, Resources, and Other Information
• Creating a Classroom Community of Young Scientists, Second Edition
o Author : Jeffery W. Bloom

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