Physics in Action Lab

Work-Energy Theorem

Materials: None

Time Allotment: 2 Class Days


This makeup lab is unique from most others in that it does not actually involve a laboratory exercise. Rather, this makeup lab involves the completion of a writing assignment which demonstrates your understanding of the application of the work-energy theorem to analyze physical situations involving objects in motion.

The Assignment:

Survey your world for some illustration or application of work and energy. The application must involve some real-world situation in which an object is being acted upon by an external force to cause a mechanical energy change. Obtain a photograph, movie clip, or magazine clip-out (or photocopy) that provides a visual representation of the physics in action. You may take photographs or videos of yourself or cut illustrations out of a magazine or newspaper. Once you have identified an example of work and energy in action, prepare a short, word-processed piece of writing in which you ...


Your writing assignment/makeup lab will be assessed using the following scoring rubric.

1. "Technical Merit"

Demonstrated a clear understanding and application of work and energy by accurately and exhaustively explaining the physics of the situation; included a complex mathematical analysis.

0 - 3

Discussions and explanations are brief and hasty; mathematical analysis or computation may be lacking; effectiveness of writing is hindered by many serious errors; demonstrated little or no understanding of physics

4 - 5

Discussions and explanations are superficial; attention not given to specifics of the physics; too vague;mathematical analysis may be inaccurate or lack organization and clarity; includes only a few detrimental errors

6 - 7

Discussion and explanations involve depth and specifics; included an accurate mathematical analysis/estimation; analysis was clear and organized; demonstrated a perfect understanding and application of physics

2. "Artistic Expression"

Writing was word processed and layout was neat, organized, and attractive; writing reflects an organized and sequential flow of ideas and effective transitions; chose a creative illustration of physics.

0 - 2

Layout is sloppy; appears to have been hastily done during the available 15 minutes prior to class; demonstrates a lack of pride in one's work

3 - 4

Word processor was used; layout and/or writing lacks organization and neatness; may not have selected a creative illustration of physics



Word processor was used; layout was organized and neat; thoughts were expressed fluently; selected a creative illustration of physics



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This page created by Tom Henderson and last updated on 12/4/97.