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In the FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Lab for AP® Physics 1: Torque, students investigate first-, second- and third-class levers and torque.
Includes access to exclusive FlinnPREP™ digital content to combine the benefits of classroom, laboratory and digital learning. Each blended learning lab solution includes prelab videos about concepts, techniques and procedures, summary videos that relate the experiment to the AP® exam, built-in student lab safety training with assessments, and standards-based, tested inquiry labs with real sample data. FlinnPREP™ Inquiry Lab Solutions are adaptable to you and how you teach with multiple ways to access and run your AP labs.
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AP Physics 1, Big Idea 3, Investigation 12
The ability to make strong, stable structures has been important ever since the first buildings were constructed thousands of years ago. In modern times, structural strength is even more important with the construction of complex bridges and skyscrapers. All these structures incorporate the same property of static equilibrium. What principles must engineers follow to build safe structures such as bridges, buildings or even a simple hanging sign? In this advanced-inquiry activity, students are challenged to hang a “sign” over a sidewalk for the lowest material cost.
The investigation begins with an introductory demonstration of first-, second- and third-class levers and torque. Students then investigate the forces required to achieve static equilibrium for various combinations of levers and forces. These results provide a model for the guided-inquiry design of the most structurally safe and efficient way to hang a sign. Students experiment with various combinations of cable lengths and sign position as they collect data on the forces of torque acting on the overall structure. Analysis of the data leads to actual construction the chosen design.
Complete for 24 students working in pairs. All materials are reusable.
FLINNprep is just one of the powerful learning pathways accessed via PAVO, Flinn’s award-winning gateway to standards-aligned digital science content paired with hands-on learning.
HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
HS-ETS1-3. Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
HS-ETS1-4. Use a computer simulation to model the impact of proposed solutions to a complex real-world problem with numerous criteria and constraints on interactions within and between systems relevant to the problem.