This listing features two labs about the conservation of momentum using marbles. I facilitate this activity series on successive days in my eighth-grade physical science class. This lab set aligns with our unit about Newton’s three laws.
In the first lab activity, students determine if there is a positive correlation between the number of marbles released down the ruler ramp and the number of stationary marbles ejected upon impact on the bottom, flat portion of the track. In the second lab activity, students test how the momentum of an inbound marble without a collision across the flat track compares to the post-collision momentum of two marbles across the same track.
By the end of the lab series, students will have:
- Graphed out the results of Part 1
- Made qualitative judgments of the results in Part 1
- Calculated the average velocity over five trials in Part 2
- Calculated the momentum of various marbles using the provided equation in Part 2
- Calculated the percentage of momentum gained or lost in Part 2 using the displayed equation
The teacher will need to provide the following supplies not included in this lab:
- Two plastic rulers with a centered topside groove that runs lengthwise for each group
- Books or wooden blocks to raise the end of the ruler ramp
- Ten marbles for each group for Part 1 and three marbles for each group for Part 2
- Two stopwatches for each group for Part 2
- A digital scale to mass the marbles for Part 2
Each lab includes a full-page student manual. I inserted a photo of the track and marble set up in the Part 1 manual. I also provided two full-page keys with the answers in bold red font. The answer key also displays sample data in the data tables, and it shows a completed graph.
I have eighteen years of publishing experience through several international science supply companies at the time of this product release. Thank you for your interest. Hopefully, this lab series will serve you well!