Monthly Archives: October 2011

Can we use a spring to measure force accurately?

Can we use a spring to measure force accurately?

To answer this question, I would say yes, but also no. This is because using a meter stick can be accurate but also inaccurate at the same time. But, since we did these trials three times, and found the mean, this could be accurate. It is also time consuming. But, this was a fun hands-on lab we did in physics class recently.


In my group, was Jemima and Marie. We measured different weight on a spring for this assignment. The materials were provided in class, which were, a huge stand where the spring would hang, spring, weights, and meter stick. The way this worked was: once we attached the weights at the bottom of the spring, and we would measure the amount of centimeters dropped by the meter stick. It is a simple and efficient method to use. Since, it is not the most accurate, we took trials of three for each different weight to be accurate.  Since we did these three trials, our validity increases.   The independent variable in this assignment was the weight of the object (kg). The dependent variable is the length of the spring (cm). The controlled variables were the different amount and weights we hung on the end of the spring.      

With the table, is the observation which states: The spring moves down about 3-4 centimeters every time an extra weight is added. This is a pattern. So by this observation, we can see the resemblance in the trend line that was placed on the graph.

After collecting all the data and doing the previous steps of this lab, Mr. T gave us the mystery weight. For, this, we observed the centimeters it dropped and compared it to the previous observations. The mystery weight dropped in between 23.0 centimeters and 24.0 centimeters. So, we concluded that it would be 23.5 centimeters. As you can see in the graph, it is between the 2.0 and 2.5 Newtons. And, the middle of those numbers is 2.25 Newtons. We were actually really close to the actual weight, which was 2.25 Newtons. This makes the percent error 0.02% since the difference between 2.2.5N and 2.27N.


I think I deserve I MYP 4 because I feel like I did not reach up till the MYP5-6 band. I completed what was required in the MYP3-4 band, but I think I worked better than a MYP3. I think I should have worked better and tried harder to work up till the MYP5-6 band.