Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guide for Teachers: Creating IB Physics Graphs

Update: The New IB Physics Graphing Template for the 2016+ Syllabus is out! Follow this link to find out more!

All the links below are now OUT OF DATE!

Download the IB Physics Graph Template

Are you a student? See my post on Creating Perfect IB Physics Graphs.

It is difficult enough for students to understand the purpose of creating linearized graphs with max and min slopes. It is made doubly difficult by the laborious processes involved in generating these graphs by hand or with ill-suited software.

To streamline the process and allow students to focus on the meaning of the information in their graphs, I developed an Excel template for creating perfect IB Physics Graphs with minimum and maximum slopes. Just fire up Excel:

  1. Type in your coordinate pairs, and
  2. Type in the uncertainties for your measurements
As you enter data, your graphs are rendered on-the-fly. This gives students instant feedback on the shape of their data, and the appropriateness of their graph and data. In this way, students can graph their data easily while they are still collecting their data! Doing so allows them to easily see if their data is making sense and if they are therefore on the right track.

Here's what the result of my efforts looks like.

IB Physics Graph Template with Max and Min Slope
If you think this tool might be useful in your classroom, you can purchase a school-wide license for this template using the Google Checkout Gadget below. Just complete the purchase and you will be directed to the download location. Once you have the file, you can distribute it to every student and teacher in your school! The IB Graph template is now free! Download here.

This template requires Microsoft Excel