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ERIC Number: EJ996850
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 8
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0887-2376
Tried and True: Springing into Linear Models
Darling, Gerald
Science Scope, v36 n1 p18-25 Sep 2012
In eighth grade, students usually learn about forces in science class and linear relationships in math class, crucial topics that form the foundation for further study in science and engineering. An activity that links these two fundamental concepts involves measuring the distance a spring stretches as a function of how much weight is suspended from the spring. After students have collected data, they plot the data on graph paper and determine that the relationship is linear. Students then calculate the slope of a best-fit line and construct a linear model. This model is used by students to predict how far an additional weight will stretch the spring. Finally, students test their prediction and examine how accurate their model is. This activity requires two 40-minute classes to complete and should be conducted toward the end of a unit on force and motion. Because this activity is interdisciplinary and student centered, and yields excellent (reproducible) results, students remain engaged and interested as they learn about how math is used in the "real world" of science and engineering. (Contains 7 figures, 2 resources and 4 online resources.)
National Science Teachers Association. 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000. Tel: 800-722-6782; Fax: 703-243-3924; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 8
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A