Education Technology

Under Pressure

Published on 06/22/2007

Activity Overview

Students will conduct an experiment to determine the pressure applied to various objects.

Before the Activity

This lab can be conducted either pre or post lecture. Students will have a introductory understanding of pressure and how force and area influence pressure.

During the Activity

Launch the activity file. 1.Find the weight of the textbook and the area of the face, bottom or the spine. 2.Send forms to students and they place their force and area in the appropriate space. 3.Create a frequency plot showing the relationship between force and area and how answers will vary. Discuss with students why there are multiple values. 4.Instruct students to calculate the pressure their book is exerting by using the equation P = F/A. 5.Ask students questions pertaining to changing the force or the area and how the pressure is affected. 6.Students need to find their weight by using the scale. 7.Placing the graph paper on the floor, the student needs to trace the outline of their shoe and determine the area of their shoe. 8.Send students the forms again so students can submit their weight (force) and the area of their shoe. 9.All students will have a point representing the pressure each foot exerts as they walk. 10.Instruct the students to calculate the pressure they apply to the floor as they walk.

After the Activity

Allow students to repeat either process using additional objects, such as a tire. Other extensions could include: lying down, desk on the floor, sitting down, etc. After the lesson, students should write a brief summary of the lesson and in their own words, explain pressure.