Education Technology

How Fast was that Truck Going Anyway?

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will use a Motion detector to measure how far a vehicle rolling down a ramp travels in a given time. They will use mathematical formulas to calculate the vehicle's speed, velocity, and acceleration.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the motion detector into the DIG/SONIC channel of the CBL 2
  • Download DataMate™ program
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 57 - 62 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedure:

  • Assemble a ramp and position the motion detector
  • Roll the vehicle in a straight line down the ramp and measure the distance covered in 5 seconds
  • Conduct three trials in the same manner
  • Graph the data and record the distance for each one-second interval
  • Graph average speed versus time
  • Calculate the vehicle's velocity and acceleration
  • After the Activity

    Students' will complete Student Data Collection and Analysis Sheet.

    Review student results

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