11 December Science 7 Summative assessment Hot Air Balloon investigation–Personal Inquiry Project

Read the directions carefully.

Do not talk.

Use lined paper. On each page you use, put your full name and period. Your writing should be clear, dark, and not too small. Please skip a line in between each line of writing. You may use the back of the paper. If you want to change something, mark through the text with a single line. DO NOT ERASE.

Answer question #1.

Answer one question from the choices: 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6.

Answer all parts of the question. Answer thoroughly. Offer examples that make your ideas clear. Use sketches. It is very important that you make your answers complete, clear, specific, and thoughtful.

You may refer to your own notes–from your paper notebook and/or from your Digital Science Notebook. You may not consult any other student. You may not consult any other source. Ipad must remain on the table (not your lap).

If you have a question, raise your hand and I will come to you.

You will have the entire period if you need the time. There will be no extra time after that.

  1. Energy is the capacity to do work. Work occurs whenever a force is applied to a mass through some distance. One form of energy can be transformed into another form. The total energy in a closed system is conserved. Describe as many energy transformations as you can (that are associated with the launch and flight of a hot air balloon–like one we have flown). What forces are applied to what masses? Be sure to discuss how heat energy is involved? You may include labeled diagrams/sketches.
  2. Describe the “best” launch and flight of your balloon. Define “best.” Describe features of your balloon. You may include labeled diagrams/sketches.
  3. Describe the way the surface temperature of the hot air balloon changes during the operation of the heat gun and during the flight and landing. What do you think happens to the air during each phase? If you could see the molecules of air during the heating, flying and landing, how do you think they would look? You may include labeled diagrams/sketches.
  4. What was your “first” explanation of why the balloon “flies?” What was a different explanation offered in your class for why the balloon “flies?” You may include labeled diagrams/sketches.
  5. What experiment/test was performed to test your explanation of why the balloon flies? What were the results? What conclusions? You may include labeled diagrams/sketches.
  6. What experiment/test was performed to test a different explanation? What were the results? What were the conclusions? You may include labeled diagrams/sketches.


When you finish, read the following and think about what you might choose for a “Personal Inquiry Project” (PIP).


The Personal Inquiry Project

During the coming semester, you will need to conduct what we shall call a Personal Inquiry Project.

There are only a few requirements:

  • The project should be something that interests you and motivates you very much.
  • The project should be related to some idea(s) and/or some practice(s) that are part of Science 7 (Motion; Energy; Growth-Development-Reproduction / Biodiversity; Natural Selection-Adaptation / Evolution). You should be able to provide rationale for the connection of your PIP to the Science 7 curriculum.
  • The PIP should involve significant firsthand experience and original thought/work.
  • The PIP will be presented to the school community (including parents) at the end of the year. Thus, it will need certain components. The details of the presentation / publication of projects will be determined through collaborative discussion with each student. The expectation is that the quality of the presentation / publication will be high.
  • A written description/explanation of the project will be required.
  • A written reflection including specified points will be required.
  • There is the possibility that the PIP will be included in Power School (especially regarding scientific practices as well as cross-cutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas).
  • Although some time will be provided during class, most of the time for the research and composition will come outside of class. There will be checkpoints along the way.
  • A proposal is made that identifies: 
    • Challenging Problem or Question
    • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills 
    • Sources of personal interest and motivation
    • Clear connections to scientific concepts, ideas, practices from the Science 7 curriculum
    • A timeframe

There are a multitude of possibilities (each would need to be documented in a thorough and appropriate way):

  • An original experimental research project.
  • An original naturalistic field study research project.
  • Original creative non-fiction based on firsthand observations and experiences.
  • Original poetic writing based on firsthand observations and experiences.
  • Original art based on firsthand observations and experiences.
  • Original photography based on firsthand observations and experiences.
  • An original collection / display / exhibit like something curated for a museum.
  • A service project (there are many possibilities here from working with children to enhancing the environment to advocacy for some action).
  • An original invention, construction, or engineering investigation.
  • An original project that investigates cultural aspects of a science related topic (ethnobotany / ethnobiology possibilities are rich in India; traditional motion toys collected, built, performance investigated).
  • An original project that investigates practices that people might not immediately associate with science (food and cooking, for example).
  • An idea that you propose and for which you provide a convincing rationale.

Some examples–there are so many possibilities:

  • Year-long creative writing in science by two 7th graders
  • todrift
  • Art-Science projects in Science 7 at AES
  • scienceart
  • Service project for the environment and the visually impaired by Singapore American School students
  • legacyfrazier

Sustained creative writing in science by two middle schoolers

  •             Motion is when an object is moving. It doesn’t necessarily have to be going somewhere. When an object in motion hits another object it results in impact. The size of impact depends on the size of the objects colliding. Without motion, the universe wouldn’t be here. Nothing could ever happen without motion.
  •             To measure the motion of an object, I think you need the distance of travel, time of travel, velocity, force/momentum, and a relative point. You need a relative point because if an object is just moving through space, there is no point for it to move closer or farther from. If an object is just moving through nothing (open space), where it ends up later will be exactly where it ends up later will be exactly like where it started. So basically it hasn’t moved at all.
  •             Einstein’s theory of relativity has much to do with motion. Can time stand still if you move away from a clock/time at the speed of light? The way this works is the time travels from the clock to your eyes at the speed of light. So if you move away from the light which carries the time to you…wouldn’t time stand still? If this true, would it be possible to go back in time if you travel faster than the speed of light? The only way to find out is to try it and experiment. I doubt these experiments with time travel will occur very soon. Humans are far from travel even close to the speed of light.
  •             A centerfielder judging a fly ball is my specialty. My favorite sport is baseball and I know pretty well how players judge the ball. Seventy-five percent of judging is seeing the acceleration of the ball off the bat and determining if it is low or high ball. A hard, low ball would reach it’s highest point in about one second. It is quite amazing how fast the ball can accelerate into the air. I think in races, acceleration is a key part to winning. It’s a key part in motion!

A Tennis Ball in Space vs. A Tennis Ball on Earth

I wrote this for our unit on motion and how gravity affects our everyday life. (Note: The first line is a tennis ball in space, the second line is a tennis ball on Earth, the third line is a tennis ball in space, the fourth line is a tennis ball on Earth, etc.)

  • Gliding to be free to drift wherever you please,
  • Gliding in a designated path.
  • Tracing your thoughts,
  • Tracing the thoughts of the arm that directed you.
  • Knowing you will always drift and will never end,
  • Knowing you will eventually hit the ground with a thud ending all movement.
  • With the whole universe to explore,
  • With the whole planet to explore but not by your choices.
  • Sensing the danger of a black hole,
  • Sensing the danger of a playful puppy.
  • Loneliness of being the only tennis ball in space,
  • Loneliness of being the only thing flying.
  • Being able to not feel anything for there is nothing near you,
  • Being able to feel people’s hands and anything that touches you.
  • Many other items that feels as strange as you,
  • Many other tennis balls.
  • Random and spontaneous.
  • Precise and assured.
  • Free.

The Personal Inquiry Project: Inquire, Build, Create, Invent, Do, Serve

Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. Essential Project Design Elements include:

  • Key Knowledge, Understanding, and Success Skills – The project is focused on student learning goals, including standards-based content and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, collaboration, and self-management.
  • Challenging Problem or Question– The project is framed by a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer, at the appropriate level of challenge.
  • Sustained Inquiry– Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of asking questions, finding resources, and applying information.
  • Authenticity– The project features real-world context, tasks and tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ personal concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.
  • Student Voice & Choice– Students make some decisions about the project, including how they work and what they create.
  • Reflection– Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles and how to overcome them.
  • Critique & Revision– Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their process and products.
  • Public Product Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying and/or presenting it to people beyond the classroom.

The project involves:

  • Significant, original, first-hand experience. (original/first-hand research, construction, creative efforts, action, service) (The firsthand experiential aspect is essential. Primarily conducting second-hand research does not address the criteria for this project.)
  • Sustained Inquiry (timeline proposed and followed)
  • A Level of commitment that is enacted
  • Communication with parents on the student’s level of commitment and level of engagement and effort
  • Support of parents

The project is:

  • Authentic
  • Based on Student’s Voice & Choice

The project includes:

  • Genuine, Deep, Insightful, Coherent Reflection

Students engage in:

  • Critique & Revision
  • On-going communication with teacher, peers, parents on the progress of the project

The project results in

  • A Public Product to be determined through the proposal and project processes

ArtScience (see this link: artscience1415)

You should be able to explain clearly what your creation has to do with our study of motion (position, time, speed, velocity, acceleration, force, Newton’s Laws of Motion, inertia, etc.). (A POOR connection would be to say something like, “We made a painting and it has to do with motion because we had to move the paintbrush.”)

Consider this question as a way to relate originality/creativity in art and discovering/inventin in science: How does your work show both you AND the viewer something that is not already known?

See this article: scienceart

Video, pictures, and reflection on one project from the past:

http://18srajesh.18blogs.aes.ac.in/grade-7/science/portfolio/swining-art-motion-project/and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZQ4014SFgM










Check out this science-art picture from the AES website: https://www.facebook.com/AmericanEmbassySchoolNewDelhi/photos/a.384454041722974.1073741828.337997143035331/397055197129525/?type=1 

Walking camel




About rfrazier

AES profile = http://aes.ac.in/viewprofile.php?u=6946
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