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Open Inquiry: The Pendulum

Open Inquiry: The Pendulum

The purpose of this short Open Inquiry CELL is to have you solve a problem that incorporates scientific processes and cognitive skills that have been introduced during previous CELLs. The Scientific Method is explicitly addressed and is the core focus of this Open Inquire experience.

Scientific and Cognitive Significance

This Open Inquiry experience gives you the opportunity to independently use the cognitive skills that have been introduced and used throughout previous CELLs. These skills will be used to perform an investigation that is based on the scientific concepts and skills of previous CELL Investigations.

You will be encouraged to use the appropriate cognitive skills in the correct context of designing, conducting, and interpreting a real experiment. You will need to use scientific and critical thinking cognitive skills as you approach the design of your experiments, including creating your own data tables, varying the parameters (variables) you are testing, and including a number of repetitions (trials), etc.

Once you have designed your experiment, you will utilize those cognitive skills necessary to solve experimental problems involving accurate measurements (times, angles, lengths), as well as identifying and eliminating experimental artifacts.

Finally, once you have completed your Open Inquiry, you will utilize the cognitive skills necessary to reflect on your experiment and determine if you have, in fact, properly tested your original hypothesis.

In this Open Inquiry, you will use those procedural skills and science concepts that have been introduced and utilized in the Investigations from previous CELLs. Examples of these are described below:

  • The Open Inquiry necessitates the identification of both dependent and independent variables.
  • The Open Inquiry requires you to devise experimental methods that lead to accurate, reproducible data.
  • The Open Inquiry requires you to investigate the relationship between the independent and dependent variables and conclude how they are related.
  • The Open Inquiry requires you to use timers, meter sticks, protractors, and any other previously used equipment and supplies that you are familiar with.
  • The Open Inquiry gives you the opportunity to follow all of the steps included in the Scientific Method.


Open Inquiry: Pendulum