Education Technology

What Goes Up: Position and Time for a Cart on a Ramp

Published on 07/02/2009

Activity Overview

In this activity, students' will use a motion detector to measure how the position of a cart on a ramp changes with time. They will then determine a parabolic model for the position data using the intercepts.

Before the Activity

  • Connect the motion detector to the DIG/SONIC port on the CBL 2™ or the DIG/SONIC 1 port of theVernier LabPro®
  • Connect the CBL 2 or LabPro to the calculator using the Unit-to-Unit cable
  • See the attached PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity
  • Print pages 91 - 98 from the attached PDF file for your class
  • During the Activity

    Distribute the pages to your class.

    Follow the Activity procedures:

  • Place the motion detector on top of an inclined board
  • Roll the cart up the ramp so the cart does not get close to the detector
  • Record data and examine the distance versus time graph
  • Trace the parabola and record the intercepts in the Data sheet
  • Determine the equation for the parabola
  • Perform a quadratic regression and determine the regression line equation and its parameters
  • 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