Teacher's Guide



This lesson can be used in a few different ways, and it should be left up to the descretion of the instructor to decide where and when it may be used.


Objective: Given a set of data, The student will graph the data, and correctly interpret what will happen in the future to the magnetic flux change of strontium ferrite bricks. Students should also be able to explain the purpose of using these bricks, and why this particular study for the bricks was important.


1. Differentiated Curriculum: In some school districts, teachers must have a differeentiated curriculum in place to challenge individual students who show talent in that course. This project could be done by an individual, along with some research on the uses of permanent magnets in industry (Electromagnetism unit), or might be accompanied by a project related to particle physics (Modern Physics unit).


2. Class / Individual Assignment: Some teachers may feel that my explanation of how to graph and interpret the data may be too much leading of the student. You may wish to download the data, and give copies to the student, minus all of the hints for data interpretation. You may also wish to do the copying for indfividuals who would not benefit from the extra hints.


3. An Excercise in Graphing: Many teachers are constantly searching for "real world" applications and data. If you are still looking for a data sample that students could simply do as an excerise in graphing (and all of the skills associated with that), you may wish to copy this data, and givce it to the students as a real world example of data collection. This is also a good set of data for teachers looking for a data set that is non-linear.


4. If you have any questions (especially about the educational aspects of this project), you may e-mail me at Tegan7@aol.com


5. If you have any questions (especially about the science behind this project), you may e-mail Dr. Jim Volk at Volk@fnal.gov (Dr. Volk is quite busy, so don't expect an immediate response....on the other hand, he is very interested in helping educators, and will respond as soon as he can). If in doubt, please e-mail me at Tegan7@aol.com first.


6. If you teach in the area around Chicago, you may wish to bring your class to see the world's most advanced scientific laboratory. Fermilab is quite blessed to have its own Education Office, which includes a few interactive exhibits on particle physics, and the work that goes on at the Lab. Tours can also be arranged, including tours of the Collision Detector Facility (CDF), where the elusive Top Quark was finally discovered! You may call the Leon Lederman Science Center for more information at (630) 840-8258. You can also learn about the ecological restoration project taking place at the lab, where large areas of land are being restored to native-Illinois prairie, wetland, and forest. You can even see the herd of American bison that lives at the lab.


Related Questions to this project:


1. What type of pattern appears on your graph?

2. Are there any points in your data that you believe may not be "good points", that is, data points that do not fit your pattern due to human or equipment errors? What do you think are some possible errors that may have occured to cause this error?

3. Does this relationship between magnetic field strength and time bode well for this project? (Meaning: Do I need to worry about my bricks losing their field strength too soon? If you aren't sure about how to answre this, compare your graph to a linear graph with a slope of negative 1. Which graph would show a faster rate of decay for my bricks? Can you now see if your graph is "good news" or "bad news" for the project).

4. You may notice that the last ten or so points on your graph do not fall into a straight line like the other points on the graph. Make a second graph of Time vs. Average Voltage Change for the last twenty points only. Then, graph Time vs. Temperature for the last twenty data points. What pattern exists here? Write a statement that describes the relationship between temperature and Magnetic Field Strength.

5. You will notice that there are uncertainties listed with the measurements in the data chart. Why is it not a good idea (in this case) to show the error bars on the graph (hint: We had really great equipment!) Calculate what percent of your measurement these uncertainties represent.


Return to main page.

Thomas Egan of Marist High School, Chicago, IL. This project was constructed as part of the Teachers Research Associate (TRAC) Program from the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, IL. This project is also in conjunction with Aurora University, Aurora, IL.

Produced on: August 7, 1996