Reflection: Student Ownership Introduction to Electrostatics - Section 4: A Transitional Exercise - Kinetic Theory and Electric Forces




This student labeled connections S for strongest, W for weakest, and I for in-between.  In addition, she curved the lines so that they wouldn't go through a particle.

I asked my class what her drawing implied about the connections between charges.  With some prodding, they responded that the connections:

- seemed dependent upon distance,

- linked charges of opposite signs, and 

- did not take into account the possibility of repulsion.

I then asked students to suggest a way we could show the repulsive forces.  The dotted red lines are the result of that probe.  Once we saw that both attractions and repulsions were possible (and numerous!), the conversation changed toward the very dynamic nature of these particles . . .  the complexity of the interactions became quite clear and students were ready to look at a simpler model. 


  Analyzing Student Work
  Student Ownership: Analyzing Student Work
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Introduction to Electrostatics

Unit 2: Electrostatics
Lesson 1 of 15

Objective: Students will draw upon previous knowledge of charges to build a strong connection between the ideas of charges and electric forces.

Big Idea: Charged particles impart forces on one another that can be calculated.

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