In this activity, students will explore linear and angular velocities and the relationship between them. This exploration is based on using a spin balancer to balance motorcycle tires of different sizes. Since a spin balancer rotates at a constant velocity, the linear and angular velocities of the tires being balanced can be readily explored while students learn the relationship between linear and angular velocities.
Before the Activity
Preload the TI-Nspire file onto the student handhelds.
Prior to beginning this activity, students should be familiar with basic trigonometric functions and finding arc lengths of circles in radians. Students should be familiar with the term "road speed" as another term for linear velocity. A discussion of why tires need to be balanced and how a spin balancer works will provide students with helpful information.
During the Activity
During the activity, discuss any relevant issues concerning entering data into the handheld, conversion factors, or any other issues while students record their responses in the TI-Nspire document file.
After the Activity
See extensions in the Activity document above.