The newtonmeter question
What the activity is for
The purpose of this activity is to get pupils thinking and talking about forces. The question focuses on thinking about the force to support a load.
What to prepare
- copies of the questions, numbers to suit the style of activity chosen.
What happens during this activity
You might use a vertically hanging slinky as a teaser or starter:
Teacher: Why are the coils of my hanging slinky farther apart than those at the bottom?… No, don't answer straight off. We're going to have a look at a question together that'll help us to construct a good explanation.
Use the question to set up a discussion, using groups of 3 or 4.
The question can lead naturally into discussions about the tension in a rope, whether hanging or horizontal. Some useful ideas can be explored, for more confident pupils, by discussing the tension in the rope during a tug of war.