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Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System

2015, High School Intro Physics

  Question 32: Open-Response  
The diagram below shows three points on a roller coaster track. A car starts from rest at point X and travels along the track. Assume friction is negligible.
The diagram shows a side view of a rollercoaster with two hills and a dip in between the two hills. From the left, the top of the first hill is labeled X and has a height of sixteen meters. The bottom of the dip is labeled Y and has a height of two meters. The top of the second hill is labeled Z and has a height greater than two meters but less than sixteen meters.
  1. Identify whether the car’s gravitational potential energy increases, decreases, or stays the same as the car moves from point X to point Y.
  1. Identify whether the car’s kinetic energy increases, decreases, or stays the same as the car moves from point Y to point Z.
The car has a mass of 600 kg.
  1. Calculate the gravitational potential energy of the car at its maximum height. Show your calculations and include units in your answer.
  1. Calculate the maximum kinetic energy of the car. 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 how energy can be converted from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and vice versa. The response correctly identifies whether the car’s gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy increase, decrease, or stay the same. The response also correctly calculates the gravitational potential energy of the car at its greatest height and the maximum kinetic energy of the car.
4
3 The response demonstrates a general understanding of how energy can be converted from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and vice versa.
2 The response demonstrates a limited understanding of how energy can be converted from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and vice versa.
1 The response demonstrates a minimal understanding of how energy can be converted from gravitational potential energy to kinetic energy and vice versa.
0 The 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 2015 Student Work Directory



Last Updated: April 4, 2017
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