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  • Subject Area

    • Science: Middle Grades Science: Friction
    • Science: Physical Science: Friction

  • Author

    Texas Instruments

  • Level

    6-8

  • Activity Time

    60 Minutes

  • Device
    • TI-73 Explorer™
  • Software

    TI Connect™
    TI-GRAPH LINK™

  • Applications
  • Accessories

    CBL™/CBL 2™
    Sensor - Dual Range Force
    TI Connectivity Cable
    TI-GRAPH LINK™ Cable
    Unit-to-Unit link cables

  • Other Materials
      This is Activity 8 from the EXPLORATIONS Book: Activities for Middle Grades Science with the CBL 2™ and TI-73.

      The following materials are required for this activity:
    • Wooden block with screw attached
    • String
    • Different surfaces
    • Meter stick/measuring tape
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Frictional Forces

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will use a Dual range force sensor to measure the force required to pull a block across different surfaces. They will examine the results to see when more force is needed to move the block and understand the role of frictional force on motion.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the force sensor into channel 1 of the CBL 2
  • Start the DataMate™ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 67 - 72 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

  • Complete the Hypothesis section on the Data Collection and Analysis page and predict the force required to move the block on different surfaces


  • Follow the Activity procedures:
  • Position the wooden block on the surface to be tested
  • Pull the block across the surface for a set distance over 5 seconds
  • Repeat the procedure three times
  • Find the average force needed to pull the block across the surface
  • Repeat the activity for other surfaces
  • Identify which surfaces decrease and increase friction force
  • After the Activity

    Students' will complete Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary