Education Technology

Bell Ringer: The Spring-Mass System

Published on 02/28/2011

Activity Overview

Students observe a simulation of an object oscillating on a spring.

Key Steps

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    In this activity, students determine the spring constant for a spring oscillating horizontally. First, they examine a simulation of a horizontal spring-mass system. They observe the relationship between the restoring force and the displacement of the mass.

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    Students capture the values of displacement and restoring force for various spring displacements.

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    Finally, students plot restoring force vs. displacement and use a Movable Line to determine the approximate spring constant for the spring.