Dignity of Labour

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ACTIVITY 5. POWER OF A STUDENT (Teacher’s Notes) PROCESS SKILLS: Measure, Observe, Compare, Test, Explain OBJECTIVE: The objective of this activity is to motivate the concept of power, or rate at which energy is transformed, and to apply it to the rate at which students do work to increase their gravitational potential energy in climbing a flight of stairs. IDEA: Students are asked to measure their gain in gravitational potential energy as they climb a flight of stairs, then to calculate the rate at which this potential energy is gained. This is followed by asking students to calculate their body’s energy needs for a day, both to perform various physical activities (including the climbing of stairs) and to maintain internal body functions.…show more content…
The rate at which you do work is called power. Like the rate at which electric appliances transform electrical energy to other forms, power is expressed in joules/sec, or watts. With how many watts of power can you climb the stairs?

Materials: meter stick stopwatch bathroom scale (optional) 1. Devise a plan to make the measurements and calculate the work you must do to climb a flight of stairs as well as the rate at which you do it (your power). Use standard metric units. After your teacher approves your plan, carry it out under your teacher’s direction.

2. Create an organized data chart showing the data you measured as you climbed the flight of stairs. 3. Create a detailed, step-by-step data analysis sheet showing what you did to calculate the power (in watts) with which you climbed the stairs. Climbing stairs is only one activity in which you do work – either on yourself or something else – during the day. This work is made possible because of the energy you gain

Teaching About Energy

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©2003 AAPT, John L. Roeder

from the food you eat. In fact, most of the energy from the food you eat goes to maintain your internal body functions, like maintaining your internal body temperature at 37 degrees Celsius. The energy from the food you eat is rated on nutrition labels in terms of Calories, and each Calorie of energy can increase the temperature of one kilogram of water by one
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