The Vertical Spring Project 2 - For High School AP Physics 1 Students

Ceres Science
Grade Levels
11th - 12th, Homeschool, Staff
Formats Included
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8 pages
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Ceres Science


The Vertical Spring Project 2 is an excellent Windows application for high school students in in AP Physics 1. It is based on AP Physics problems that have been given several times in official Physics AP exams. It is a useful activity to help physics student master simple harmonic motion, dynamics, and conservation of energy.

We made this problem more challenging in several ways, and a great learning activity for advanced and AP Physics 1 students. The Vertical Spring Project 2 is about a light vertical spring with an original unstretched length Lo. A block of mass M is carefully attached to its lower end, and the block comes to rest when the new length of the spring is L. Finally, the block is pulled down the distance X, and then it is released, causing the block to oscillate up and down from the equilibrium line.

The computer will ask the following data to be entered:

Gravity g

Initial length of the spring Lo

Mass of the block M

New length of the spring L

The additional length x the spring is stretched

After entering the described values, the following quantities will be calculated:

Force Constant K of the spring

Frequency of oscillation F

Period T

Maximum Speed V

Maximum Acceleration a the block can achieve

For convenience, the student will assume that the block has zero Potential Energy PE when it is located at the lowest point of each oscillation. Starting at the lowest point, for every centimeter the block moves, the following values will be calculated:

Potential Energy of the block

Kinetic Energy of the block

Potential Energy stored in the spring

Velocity of the block

Acceleration of the block

It is recommended that teachers give a different set of values to each student. To practice graphing, the students will do the graph Displacement ( -x to +x ) vs. PE (block), KE (block), PE (spring), and TE.

There are three good things about this product. First, the complete solution of this problem is explained in minute detail. Second, the students will be highly motivated while they work for about 2 hours to complete the Vertical Spring project. And third, with this application, the teacher will be able to type the data for one student in a few seconds, and then view right away the Answer Key on the screen.

Again, this physics application is for computers using Windows 10 or newer.

Ceres-Science teacher support:

For more information about other physics products created by Ceres Science and available in TpT, please visit:

Total Pages
8 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 hours
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