Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
M.S. 54, Manhattan
2000
Understanding of the Speed and Acceleration Formulas
Jump to "Great Bookbag Alarm" Lesson
Jump to "Periodic Table of Elements Game"
Purpose: To
reinforce the students’ understanding of the speed and
acceleration formulas, and introduce friction.
Motivation: Fabulous prizes will be
awarded to the team whose car finishes last.
Equipment: Each team will receive one force
car, a meter stick, a stopwatch, and a plank one meter long.
Procedure:
1. Introduce the class to the concepts and formulas to be
studied (one period).
2. Distribute equipment.
3. Give the class two periods to
devise a technique to slow the car down as much as
possible, without stopping it.
4. On the day of the contest, each
group will run the race three times; the average of the
results will be used in the judging.
Rules:
1. The wheels of the car cannot be altered in any way.
2. The weight of the car must carry
it the length of the ramp, and then one meter more. If
it does not finish, it is disqualified.
3. The average speed of the car on
the ramp, along the ground, and overall, must be calculated using
the formula:
speed
= distance
divided by time
4. Acceleration for each trial must be calculated using the
formula:
acceleration
= final speed - original speed
total time
5. No group member may touch a car once it is in motion.
6. The three slowest teams will
receive fabulous prizes. The fastest team will receive
a speeding ticket.
Suggested fabulous prizes: points on test, or a piece of
candy. Allow the student to choose.
Suggested
Data Format
Speed of car on ramp | Speed of car on floor | Average speed overall | Acceleration | |
Trial 1 | ||||
Trial 2 | ||||
Trial 3 | ||||
Average |
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