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# Investigating friction

AF2, AF4, AF5

## Context

During work on friction, pupils were shown several pictures of goalkeepers from the 1960s and 1970s and asked if they noticed anything surprising. They were quick to spot that goalkeepers in those days did not wear gloves.

They were then put in role as scientists working for a research company who had been approached by a well-known sportswear firm to develop a new range of ‘Supa-Grip’ goalkeeper gloves. They were asked to investigate the best material for the palms of the gloves.

The pupils were given a range of six different materials, each providing different amounts of friction, asked to devise their own fair test and record their results in a table provided. They had previously been taught to measure using forcemeters, and were familiar with making sense of varying results by finding the mean.

The pupils were then asked to present their recommendations for the most suitable material for the new gloves, with explanations. They were also asked to suggest other tests that it would be necessary to carry out to determine this material's general suitability.

## The evidence

The content on the page says: " Friction World-famous sportswear firm, blank, want to develop a brand new range of "Supa-Grip" goalkeeper gloves. My research company has been asked to investigate the best-type of material to cover the palms and fingers of these gloves. My task was to design and carry out a fair test to find out which is these materials would be best for the plans and fingers of the gloves. My test " The child has drawn a diagram with a 1kg weight, attached to material, that is hanging from a force metre. The force metre has 'N12345' written on it.

Table with six columns and six rows. The horizontal columns, reading left to right, are named: Materials Prediction - tick the materials you predict will be the grippiest (will have the most frictionc0 Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Average The six horizontal rows, from top to bottom, are named: Sand-text Blackwol Cord-U-Roy Blu-Rub Micro-mesh Brownhide The test results show that: Sand-tex received 4n for test 1, 3.6n for test 2, 3.2n for test 3, and 3.6n for the average Blakwol received 2n for all three tests and 2n for the average Cord-U-Roy received 1.2n for test 1, 1.8n for test 2, 1.4n for test 3 and 1.46n for the average Blu-Rub received 10n for test 1, 12n for test 2, 12n for test 3 and 11.33n for the average Micro-mesh recived 1.8n for test 1, 1.6n for test 2, 1.6n for test 3 and 1.6n for the average Brownhide received 5.8n for test 1, 4n for test 2, 4.8 for test 3, and 4.86n for the average. In the Prediction column Blu-Rub has ben ticked Underneath the table, the child has written this content: "From these results I recommend Blu-Rub as the best material for the gloves because Blu-Rub has the most friction. Further tests are needed. These include:- Testing to see if it still has the most friction in wet conditions. Testing for the strength of the material. Testing for the flexibility of the material.

## Teacher's notes

Ciaran worked with his partner, placing the 1 kg mass on the various materials and measuring the force required in order to move each material. During the investigation he made suggestions about how to use the forcemeter safely – he knew that the spring might fly out of his partner's hand, and suggested wearing safety glasses when taking measurements from the forcemeter at close range.

## Next steps

• Development of the investigation further to work with two continuous variables (mass used and force required to move the mass).
• Encouragement of the evaluation of the effectiveness of working methods while work is in progress, and developing their ideas accordingly.

## Assessment commentary

Ciaran links applications to underpinning scientific ideas. The provision of a table here prevents him from demonstrating his own skills, but he carries out a fair test, and identifies possible risks. While he incorrectly calculates averages, he remains able to draw a straightforward conclusion.