Debbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:50 pm

### Physical vs Natural environment

My son, who will be starting 7th grade this Sept, is doing a summer project where he has to create a 3D figure from different shapes they have listed listed. He has chosen a cylinder. There is alot to the project, however, we are stumped on a few things. He created already a paint can (cylinder) which we made out of many different materials. One of the things he needs to do is "write a paragraph explaining what role this object plays in the natural and physical environment". We are unsure if they just mean the shape (cylinder) or the paint can? And what examples would we give? Another question is to do "a collage with a minimum of 3 different examples of your design found in the natural environment and 3 in the physical environment, where the design is found or used." I haven't a clue and I have been on the internet trying to research without any luck. How would you interpret those questions and what examples would we use? Believe it or not I have 4 other parents that are just as stumped!!Any help you could give I would appreciate. Thanks! Debbie

davidkallman
Former Expert
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:38 pm

### Re: Physical vs Natural environment

Hi Debbie,

Just taking a stab. The physical environment is an actual construction of the object. The natural environment is a mathematical description of the object, i.e. the formula that describes a cylinder. A cylinder is an extended circle: x^2 + y^2 <= r; 0 <= z <= b, where r is the radius of the circle, and b is how long the circle is extended upwards.

Again, just a guess.
Cheers!

Dave

Louise
Former Expert
Posts: 921
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 2:17 pm

### Re: Physical vs Natural environment

davidkallman wrote:Hi Debbie,

Just taking a stab. The physical environment is an actual construction of the object. The natural environment is a mathematical description of the object, i.e. the formula that describes a cylinder. A cylinder is an extended circle: x^2 + y^2 <= r; 0 <= z <= b, where r is the radius of the circle, and b is how long the circle is extended upwards.

Again, just a guess.

I think the best bet is to contact the teacher. "physical" vs. "natural" is not terminology I've ever heard (I'm a research chemist). We use those terms, but not as opposites. David's guess seems reasonable, but who knows what the teacher is thinking? My guess from what you posted is the "natural" is nature and "physical" is man-made/artifical, but that is a wild guess on my part. Maybe if you posted the entire project here we might be able to make a better guess.

Maybe you can ask the kids if there were any additional verbal instructions given as well.

Louise

davidcastagna
Former Expert
Posts: 12
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:43 am
I concur with Louise's post. It is impossible to know what the teacher meant. I would be very interested in seeing what that assignment looks like too.

I did a few keyword searches on Google and found some extremely vague ideas that "Natural" vs "Physical" might refer to the difference between observational science which deals with the world as we see it versus methodical/experimental science which attempts to manipulate the world to reveal what we cannot see directly. (But this seems awefully advanced for a 7-th grade science project.) It is unclear if this is even right and it is unclear exactly which of these is "Natural" and which is "Physical". So without more information from the teacher it is impossible to know what the teacher meant.
================================
David, Algonquin IL, Geek

Debbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:50 pm

### Thank you...(natural v physical)

Thank you all for your input. Unfortunately we can not speak to a teacher about this and the students were given no information at all, just the hand out during a meeting. We parents are trying to pick the brains of 8th graders now, to see what they actually did, lol. We are thinking that it's based on the cylinder shape in the natural environment (out side things such as trees, telephone poles, etc that look like cylinders) and physical environment (such as papertowel holders, soup cans, canisters, etc) This project was given to Honor Science kids who signed up to take it next year. I will post back what exactly the outcome was with this project. Thanks again for all of your help. Debbie