Education Technology

That's a Stretch

Activity Overview

Students determine the relationship between the stretch of a spring and the number of weights in a cup suspended from the spring. They find the Y-value of a function if the X-value is provided. They use technology to plot a set of ordered pairs and to find a best fit line.

Before the Activity

  • Place the slinky on the center of a meter stick at a certain height above the floor, and hang the cup on the slinky
  • Set up the calculator for data collection using the procedure described in the attached Appendix PDF file
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 123 - 134 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the activity procedures:

  • Measure and record the distance from the cup to the floor
  • Add 5 marbles (or any small object) to the cup and measure and record the distance from the cup to the floor
  • Continue adding marbles in increments of five and record data
  • Enter the number of objects and the distance as a list
  • Set up a scatter plot and find the equation for the number of objects versus the length of the slinky
  • Find the y-intercept, and determine the slope
  • Find a best fit line, graph it, and record its slope
  • Compare the stretch for different objects
  • Determine the stretch for a given number of the same objects, and the number of objects given the stretch
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Data Collection and Analysis page and answer questions listed on it.

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