Science

6th May 2005 at 01:00
KS3-4

Set up an investigation into road surfaces. It is vital that the surface allows good grip for the tyres of vehicles. Too smooth and slippery and the car or lorry cannot stop (or even start) safely. However, it must not be too rough and bumpy, or else it would be uncomfortably bouncy. Use a model car, a shoe or a trainer, weighed down with something. Use a Newton-meter (or hook some rubber bands and measure their stretch) to pull it along a surface. Measure the forces to start it moving and also to keep it moving.

When you stop pulling, how far does it travel before it comes to a stop? Now change the surface, using the floor and the table, maybe the grass outside or part of a garden, or tarmac. You can even make up some surfaces in a tray ( marbles, soil, gravel, sand, possibly water or ice). Compare the results for different surfaces, and discuss ideas of friction and, thus, why the road surface texture is crucial. The careful use of some oil on a tray might show how dangerously slippery a road becomes when oil leaks onto it. Students can look into the structure of roads and the history and nature of tarmac, right up to date with issues of braking distances on some newer road coatings.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now