### Notes:

The Go For The Gold! Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.

### Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive provides a game-like environment in which students can explore the concept of equilibrium and force analysis. There are 16 scaffolded difficulty levels. Each level presents a different angle (pun intended) on equilibrium and force analysis. The challenge of each level is to add gold coins to a bag up to but not exceeding the limit at which one more coin would cause the rope(s) that holds the bag to break. The early levels involve ropes that are vertical. Later levels involve multiple ropes that are angled. The mass (or weight) of the bag and the gold coins are provided. The breaking strength of the rope is also provided.

The organization of levels and questions is best described as follows:
• Level 1: 1 rope. Weight is given. Rope is vertical. Numbers are nice.
• Level 2: 1 rope. Mass is given. Rope is vertical. Numbers are nice.
• Level 3: 1 rope. Weight is given. Rope is vertical.
• Level 4: 1 rope. Mass is given. Rope is vertical.
• Level 5: 2 ropes. Mass is given. Ropes are vertical.
• Level 6: 3 ropes. Mass is given. Ropes are vertical.
• Level 7: 2 ropes. Weight is given. Rope is angled; angle is 30°.
• Level 8: 2 ropes. Weight is given. Rope is angled; angle is random.
• Level 9: 2 ropes. Mass is given. Rope is angled; angle is 60°.
• Level 10:  2 ropes. Mass is given. Rope is angled; angle is random.
• Level 11:  3 ropes. Weight is given. Rope is angled; angle is 30°.
• Level 12: 3 ropes. Mass is given. Rope is angled; angle is 30°.
• Level 13: 3 ropes. Mass is given. Rope is angled; angle is random.
• Level 14: 4 ropes. Weight is given. Rope is angled; angle is 30°.
• Level 15: 4 ropes. Mass is given. Rope is angled; angle is 30°.
• Level 16: 4 ropes. Mass is given. Rope is angled; angle is random.

The Main Menu of the Interactive includes buttons with links to the 16 different difficulty levels. A star is displayed to the left of the button for any completed difficulty level. When a student successfully completes a level on their first attempt, they will be rewarded the gold coins to add to their collection. Success on a second attempt (or repeat attempt) will not result in the earning of the gold coins. The total number of gold coins accumulated is displayed on the Main Menu screen as well. The stars and the coins provide an indicator of student ability. It is important to recognize that the exact number of coins that have been collected cannot be converted to a percent (and hopefully this wouldn't have been a temptation anyways). The actual number of gold coins offerred per level is a random number and not the same for every student. The range is rather small but the random nature of this number can still account for differences among students. Genearlly, a student who completes all 16 levels on the first attempt will gather about 175 or so gold coins.

The Interactive was designed to be used as an in-class activity somewhere in the middle to end of a learning cycle on forces at angles and equilibrium. After having developed the idea and having discussed force components, the Interactive makes for a great formative assessment. It can be done in pairs or small groups or individually. We recognize that teachers in different classrooms will need to have different expectations for how far students progress. Honors classrooms would likely be expected to more easily complete all 16 levels. Less able classes may only be asked to complete Levels 1-6. As we always do, we create resources with the intent that teachers will be able to adapt them to a wide variety of classroom situations.

The most valuable (and most overlooked) aspect of this Interactive is the Help Me! feature. The Help feature transforms the activity from a question-answering activity into a concept-building activity. The student who takes the time to use the Help page can be transformed from a guesser to a learner and from an unsure student to a confident student. The "meat and potatoes" of the Help page is in the section titled "How to Think About This Situation:" Students need to be encouraged by teachers to use the Help Me! button and to read this section of the page. A student that takes time to reflect upon how they are answering the question and how an expert would think about the situation can transform their naivete into expertise.

Go For The Gold is now equipped with Task Tracker code to save student progress results in our database This allows teachers with Task Tracker accounts to modify the activity by eliminating levels they don't wish their students to do - for instance, the more difficult levels. Student progress is also saved and retireved at a later time, allowing them to begin the activity on Tuesday and finish it on Wednesday. We don't save information about the number of coins earned. But on restart, we generate an approximated number based upon the number of completed levels; the approximate number is not likely to be more than 5% off from the actual earned number of coins. Learn more.

### Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Go For The Gold! Interactive. These include:
• Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments from the Forces in Two Dimensions module make for a great complement to this Concept Builder. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. We recommend missions F2D3 and F2D4 as accompaniments to this activity. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating the Go For The Gold! Interactive into an instructional unit on Newton's Laws  can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.