Reflection: Perseverance Electric Energy Transfer Investigation - Day 4 - Section 3: Continuing Electric Energy Transfer Investigation


In the interview in this section, the students mention the "light box." I'd like to reflect for a moment on this as it represents an insight that not all teams have made to this point. These students recognized that while trying to measure the light output from a light bulb, they were also measuring ambient light from the room. To combat that influence (to reduce "noise") they obtained an old shoe box that had been discarded. They set up the experiment inside the box, shielding the light sensor from the ambient light in the room.

In addition, one of the students mentions that everything was now "attached to itself." What she meant was that all devices were fixed in place, removing the variability of the placement of the sensor with respect to the light bulb, and minimizing handling of the equipment which can often result in lost time or broken electrical connections. 

The elimination of ambient light and the standardization of the equipment each demonstrates the value of allowing time for students to iterate through a process. Had they been limited to a single day to do this work, they would likely not have been able to recognize the need for these improvements. Indeed, even with this time, not all teams have come to this recognition: the other video segment shows a student who is still holding the motor while another brings the photogate up to the spinning rotor blade (a plastic cable tie). Virtually no part of their apparatus has been standardized.

  Iterations in an Investigation
  Perseverance: Iterations in an Investigation
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Electric Energy Transfer Investigation - Day 4

Unit 3: Electricity and Energy Transfer
Lesson 9 of 13

Objective: Students continue an investigation of electric energy transformations.

Big Idea: Complex relationships in electrical energy can be investigated in depth, given the right amount of time and resources.

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