ADI Online Physical Science Investigations

PS-01: Thermal Energy and Matter

Guiding Question: What happens at the molecular level when thermal energy is added to a substance?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to develop a model that helps students explain what happens at the molecular level as thermal energy is added to a substance. The substance students will work with during this investigation is water.

Lab Description: Students will use a simulation to look at what happens to water at the molecular level as they add and remove thermal energy from it while keeping pressure and the number of molecules constant.

PS-02: Gravitational Force

Guiding Question: How does the gravitational force that exists between two objects relate to their masses and the distance between them?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how mass and distance affect the strength of the gravitational force that exists between two objects.

Lab Description: Students will use a simulation to adjust the mass and starting distance of two objects and see how that affects the amount of gravitational force between them.

PS-03: Force and Motion

Guiding Question: How do changes in pushing force affect the motion of an object?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how changes in the force acting on an object affects the motion of that object.

Lab Description: Students will use a simulation to change the amount of force they use to push an object and see how that affects the object's motion.

PS-04: Mass and Motion

Guiding Question: How does the mass of an object that is moving at a constant speed affect the amount of force needed to stop that object from moving?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how the mass of an object affects its motion.

Lab Description: Students will use a simulation to change the amount of mass an object has and see how that affects the object's motion when an unbalanced force is applied to it.

PS-05: Unbalanced Forces

Guiding Question: What mathematical relationship can we use to accurately predict if a seesaw will balance or not based on the mass and location of the objects that are sitting on it?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out a mathematical relationship that students can use to determine where to place two or more objects of different mass on a seesaw so it will balance.

Lab Description: Students will use a simulation to place different objects on a seesaw and see if they can come up with a mathematical relationship between the masses of objects, their placement, and a balanced force.

PS-06: Energy Transformations

Guiding Question: What do snowboarders have to do to jump higher during the halfpipe competition?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how athletes, such as Chloe Kim, can jump so high in the air as they slide down the halfpipe on a snowboard.

Lab Description: Students will use a simulation to change the characteristics of a skater on a halfpipe, and the halfpipe itself to determine the best way to get the skateboarder to go high in the air..

PS-07: Electrical Energy

Guiding Question: How does the arrangement of lightbulbs that are connected to a battery affect the brightness of a single bulb in that circuit?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use a simulation to develop a rule that will allow students to predict the brightness of a bulb based on how it is arranged in an electric circuit.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to arrange the components of a circuit in different ways and collect data about the brightness of a bulb in that circuit.

PS-08: Reflection and Refraction

Guiding Question: How can we predict where a ray of light will go when it comes in contact with a block made of glass or acrylic?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use a simulation to determine how the path of light changes as it moves from one medium to another.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the density of two substances that a laser is passing through and use tools to measure the changes in angle and strength as it moves from one medium to the other.

PS-09: Wave Properties

Guiding Question: How do frequency, amplitude, and wavelength of a transverse wave affect its energy?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to use what students know about waves and energy to design and carry out an investigation that will allow students to describe the relationship between a wave’s energy and its amplitude, wavelength, and frequency.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to change the frequency, amplitude, and wavelength of a string of beads to see how each of these factors affects the amount of energy the wave has.

PS-10: Periodic Trends

Guiding Question: What are the properties of the unknown element?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out the properties of the unknown element based on the properties of the 19 known elements.

Lab Description: In order to accomplish this goal, students will need to use the provided cards to create a periodic table that is organized in a way that will allow students to predict the properties of any of the 19 elements included in the students' periodic table based on the properties of other elements in the table.

PS-11: States of Matter

Guiding Question: How does changing the volume of a system affect the amount of thermal energy that is needed to change water from a solid to a gas?

Goal: The students' goal in this investigation is to figure out how much thermal energy they would need to add to a pressure cooker system with varied volume to get water to transition from solid to a gas.

Lab Description: The simulation will allow students to add thermal energy to a sealed container and change the volume of that container. It will also allow students to view molecules of argon, neon, oxygen, and water as they change states.