Form and Function Unit Test – next Tuesday

Next Tuesday, my science students will be writing their unit test for the Form and Function unit. This test will be similar to the past ones from the ecology unit in length and format. Students are allowed to use two of their notes (if they have them) on the test: the placemat summary on forces and loads and the table listing all of the methods to strengthen and support structures.

Here is a rundown of the test and the concepts (and associated textbook pages) that students should know before writing:


Part A (Knowledge and Understanding)

  • Multiple Choice (7 questions)
  • Matching (13 questions)

Part B (Communication)

  • Paragraph answers (3 questions)
  • Diagram answer (1 question)


1) Types of Structures

  • Terminology: structure, solid, framed, shell
  • Example Question: Provide an example of a solid, a frame and a shell structure.
  • Example Question: Describe two advantages of using a shell structure rather than a solid structure?
  • TEXT: Classifying Structures (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 10.3)

 2) Forces acting on and within Structures

  • Terminology: force, magnitude, direction, point of application, tension, compression, torsion, shear, net force/movement
  • Example Question: Direction is one component of a force. List and explain the other two ways of describing a force.
  • Example Question: Billy is on a chain link swing. He is twisting the swing back and forth. Name and describe THREE internal forces (stresses) that are acting on the swing in this scenario?
  • TEXT: Forces and Loads (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 10.2)
  • TEXT: External and Internal Forces (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 10.4)
  • WEBLINK: Forces Lab (Source:

3) Types of Loads

  • Terminology: load, static load, live load, dead load, dynamic load
  • Example Question: Name two examples of dead static loads, two examples of live static loads, and one example of a dynamic load present in this scenario.
  • WEBLINK: Loads Lab (Source:

 4) Stability, Balance and Centre of Gravity

  • Terminology: stability, balance, centre of gravity/mass
  • Example Question: Explain why you would want to keep your stance as wide as possible and try to crouch as low as possible in a tug of war.
  • Example Question: In each of the following shapes, draw an “x” to show the centre of gravity. Explain your reasoning.

 5) Methods of Strengthen and Supporting Structures

  • Terminology: beam, I-beam, corrugation, rebar, cantilever, tie, strut, gusset, arch, dome, truss
  • Example Question: How can you strengthen a beam without adding any support structures? Explain HOW your method strengthens the beam.
  • Example Question: What is the difference between a tie and a strut? In you answer, include a description of the internal forces acting within each structure.
  • TEXT: Making Structures Stronger: The Beam (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 11.2)
  • TEXT: Making Structures Stronger: Trusses, Arches, and Domes (Source: Nelson Perspectives 7: 11.4)
  • WEBLINK: Shapes Lab (Source:

In class on Friday (for 7-09) and on Monday (for 7-10), we will be completing a review game which involves questions pertaining to the above topics.

My classroom will be open Monday at lunch for anyone who requires clarification on any of the above topics.

Thanks and happy studying! You got this!


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