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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2013, High School Intro Physics

  Question 23: Open-Response  
A 70 kg person is swinging on a swing set, as shown in the diagram below. Positions X and Z represent the highest points of the person’s motion, and position Y represents the lowest point of the person’s motion.
Child on a swing. Position X is back, Position Y at bottom of swing, Position Z is at top of swing
  1. At which position does the person have maximum kinetic energy? Explain your answer.
  2. Neglecting friction, describe the energy conversion as the person travels from position X to position Y.
  3. The person is 1.0 m above the ground at position Y and 1.5 m above the ground at position Z. Neglecting friction, calculate the change in gravitational potential energy as the person swings from position Y to position Z. Show your calculations and include units in your answer.
  4. Neglecting friction, calculate the speed of the person at position Y. Show your calculations and include units in your answer.

Scoring Guide and Sample Student Work
Select a score point in the table below to view the sample student response.

ScoreDescription
4 The response demonstrates a thorough understanding of the law of conservation of energy as it applies to an exchange between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy. The response correctly identifies and clearly explains where the person has maximum kinetic energy, and describes the energy conversion of the person from position X to position Y. The response includes a correct calculation of the change in gravitational potential energy as the person swings from position Y to position Z and the speed of the person at position Y.
4
3
The response demonstrates a general understanding of the law of conservation of energy as it applies to an exchange between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.
2
The response demonstrates a limited understanding of the law of conservation of energy as it applies to an exchange between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.
1
The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of the law of conservation of energy as it applies to an exchange between gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy.
0 Response is incorrect or contains some correct work that is irrelevant to the skill or concept being measured.

Note: There are 2 sample student responses for Score Point 4.

High School Intro Physics

Question 12: Electromagnetism
Question 23: Motion and Forces
Question 32: Motion and Forces
Question 44: Heat and Heat Transfer
Question 45: Waves and Radiation

Return to the MCAS 2013 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: September 11, 2016
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