Why Are All Lunar Craters Round?
At some point in your future academic career, many of you will
be expected to do a science experiment and complete a full lab write-up. There
is a definite procedure for a lab write-up, and I am hoping to help you learn
this, as well as learn about crater formation. Each lab write up features an
abstract, introduction, materials and methods section, data presentation, discussion,
and conclusion. Your assignment is to do a lab write up which will demonstrate
that you thoroughly understand the process of crater formation on the moon,
or any other celestial body. THIS IS A MESSY EXERCISE, SO PLEASE DO THIS WORK
OUTSIDE ... NOT ON THE LIVING ROOM FLOOR!
Your lab will be as follows:
Spend five to ten minutes thinking about what causes the craters which appear
on the moon's surface. Try to solve the riddle as to why craters are all round
and of different sizes. Write down your prediction before beginning the lab
Once the lab has been completed, you will record your data, think about your
results, and formulate a theory which explains the cause of craters, and try
to make additional inferences or predictions which will extend this lab for
Conclusion:(the more future experiments you can propose and the more you can
extend your theory, the better)
Materials and Methods
1 pizza box
3 meter sticks or yard sticks
impactors or varying sizes
Create a lunar landscape by spreading flour inside the pizza box to a depth
of 1 inch. Then cocoa lightly over the entire flour surface, finely coating
the white flour with cocoa, making it look real cool.
You drop the impactors from varying measured heights and measure the diameter,
depth, and shape of the impact craters. The heights and number of drops are
determined by you, and remember that precision is important. You may want to
try dropping the impactor at an angle to see what happens. You may drop impactors
of different sizes and shapes to see what happens. Be creative in doing the
results: record your results in a chart form which will be understandable
to your reader (me :)
discussion: discuss your findings and compare them to your prediction.
Tom's Comments: This is a messy lab, but a fun one. I am asking that you really
try to think today, and have therefore weighted the conclusion section more
heavily than any other part. I want to see how many connections you can make
between experimentation and the appearance of the craters on the moon. I also
want you to include in your conclusion why such experimentation is important
to us here on earth.
and if you have questions, please feel free to ask
This assignemt might be more fun if you find someone to help
you too. By the time you have arrived here, you work should be completed and
answers thought through. Time now to put those answers in the boxes below and
send them to me.
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