AF2, AF4, AF5
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.
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.
- 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.
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.