Modeling Oscillating Systems: Cross-curricular activity between Physics and Math

The module involves a process of scientific investigation of the properties and similarities of simple oscillating systems.  Through a process of observation and modeling the students will develop the concept that oscillating systems are a common feature in nature, and that a restoring force is the key element in modeling their behavior.  A recommended collaboration with advanced algebra or pre-calculus students is designed into the module where physics students provide technically explicit description and data from their Stella models to involved teams of math students.  The math students will analyze the data using Excel spreadsheets and provide the physics students with a mathematical model corresponding to their experimentally based Stella models.

Physics Component:

created by:
     Don Higdon       Bud Rorison
     Allen Skinner     Charlotte Trout

July 2001

Updated January 2007


Math Component: