Education Technology

Conserving Energy

Published on 06/09/2008

Activity Overview

Students will find both the kinetic and potential energies as the cart rolls down the ramp. They will find the sum of the two energies, and show that this value is constant at all times.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the calculator to the CBR 2™
  • Install the TI Connect™ software to analyze data on the computer
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 45 - 49 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Run the Ranger program on the calculator
  • Place the cart at the top of the inclined plane and position the CBR at the bottom
  • Release the cart and record data
  • Observe the distance versus time, and velocity versus time graphs
  • Determine the velocity of motion
  • Record the mass of the cart in the data sheet
  • Calculate the height of the cart in terms of the distance from the cart to the CBR, and the sine of the angle
  • Calculate the potential and the kinetic energies of the rolling cart
  • Repeat the experiment and find the sum of the two energies for every trial
  • After the Activity

    Students will complete the Data 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