Education Technology

Crawling Around: Parametric Plots

Published on 07/02/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will record the x- and y-coordinates of a rod moving in a figure-eight pattern. They will then use the recorded motion information to separately model the x- and y-motion as a function of time. They will plot the experimental data in a y versus x graph and the x- and y-models parametrically for comparison to the experimental data.

Before the Activity

  • Set up the motion detectors along the lines of symmetry of figure-eight
  • Connect the motion detectors to the DIG/SONIC port of each of the CBL 2™ or the DIG/SONIC 1 and DIG/SONIC 2 ports of the Vernier LabPro®
  • Connect the CBL 2 or LabPro to the calculator using the Unit-to-Unit cable
  • Make a note of which detector will collect x-data and which one will gather y-data
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 227 - 234 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Move the rod along the figure-eight pattern and observe the distance versus time graph on the calculator
  • Graph x- versus time and y- versus time data, and fit a sine curve to the data
  • Graph the data of the y-detector versus the data of the x-detector and superimpose the sine models on the y versus x plot
  • Evaluate the quality of the parametric sine model for the motion data
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Data Collection and Analysis Sheet and answer questions listed in it.

    Review student results

  • As a class, discuss questions that appeared to be more challenging
  • Re-teach concepts as necessary