Distance vs. Time with Cars Materials List

You will need the following materials to complete this activity:

– Toy car, such as Matchbox or Hot Wheels (cheap and easy to find if you don’t already have one)

– Materials to make a ramp (cardboard, a wood board, or even car tracks if you have them!)

– Meter stick or yard stick, or a measuring tape (to measure the distance the car travels)

– Stopwatch (your phone will do)

– Protractor or phone app to measure angles

– One extra person to help collect data

Build a ramp out of any materials you can find. I put a few examples using cardboard below. Do not make the ramp so steep that it affects how smoothly the car travels when it hits the floor.

For this lab, you will be answering two questions:1)

1) Does a car travel a consistent speed as it travels down a ramp, and beyond?

2) Does the angle of a ramp affect the speed of a car?

L2: Copy the following table into your notebook. You may have to convert from feet or yards to meters to complete the table.

Distance car has traveled (m) Time (s) Average Speed (m/s)

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average

0.25

0.5

0.75

1

After building your ramp, select your car. Use this same car for the duration of your experiment.

Find a good place to run your experiment. This will not work well on carpet, so a wood floor or concrete floor will work the best.

1) Mark a starting point on your ramp so that your car is always starting at the same place. Place your car at the starting point.

2) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 0.25 meters from the bottom of your ramp.

3) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

4) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 0.25 meters and write the time in your table.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 two more times.

1) Place your car at the starting point on your ramp.

2) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 0.5 meters from the bottom of your ramp.

3) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

4) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 0.5 meters and write the time in your table.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 two more times.

1) Place your car at the starting point on your ramp.

2) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 0.75 meters from the bottom of your ramp.

3) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

4) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 0.75 meters and write the time in your table.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 two more times.

1) Place your car at the starting point on your ramp.

2) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 1 meter from the bottom of your ramp.

3) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

4) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 1 meter and write the time in your table.

5) Repeat steps 1-4 two more times.

Complete your data table. First, figure out the average time for each distance by adding up the three times for each distance and dividing by 3.

Next, divide the distance (in meters) by the average time (in seconds) and complete the last column of the table.

Create a graph in Excel, Word or Google Docs of your data. Put “Distance (m)” on the x-axis and “Average Time (s)” on the y-axis. Be sure to ONLY use averages for the graph.

Copy this second table into your notebook.

Angle of Ramp (°) Time (s) Average Speed (m/s)

Trial 1 Trial 2 Trial 3 Average

1) Record the angle of your ramp.

2) Place your car at the starting point on your ramp.

3) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 1 meter from the bottom of your ramp.

***Note: You will always record the time at 1 meter for this part of the experiment. Remember – in a good experiment, you only change one variable at a time. In the first experiment, it was distance. This time, it is the angle of your ramp.

4) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

5) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 1 meter and write the time in your table.

6) Repeat steps 2-5 two more times.

1) Change the angle of your ramp, and record it in your table.

2) Place your car at the starting point on your ramp.

3) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 1 meter from the bottom of your ramp.

4) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

5) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 1 meter and write the time in your table.

6) Repeat steps 2-5 two more times.

1) Change the angle of your ramp one more time and record it in your table.

2) Place your car at the starting point on your ramp.

3) Place the person running the stopwatch at a point 1 meter from the bottom of your ramp.

4) When they say go, release your car. They should be starting the stopwatch at the same time.

5) Stop the stopwatch when the car reaches the distance of 1 meter and write the time in your table.

6) Repeat steps 2-5 two more times.

Complete your second data table. First, figure out the average time for each distance by adding up the three times for each distance and dividing by 3.

Next, divide the distance of 1 meter by the average time (in seconds) and complete the last column of the table.

Create a graph in Excel, Word or Google Docs of your data. Put “Angle (°) ” on the x-axis and “Average Time (s)” on the y-axis. Be sure to ONLY use averages for the graph.

1. 1. Consider the first experiment where distance was your independent variable. What was your hypothesis? Did your data support your hypothesis? Why or why not? (2 points)

2. Consider the first experiment where angle was your independent variable. What was your hypothesis? Did your data support your hypothesis? Why or why not? (2 points)

3. Look at the graphs for the second experiment where angle was your independent variable. Can you tell which car was going the fastest just by looking at the slope of the lines? Explain. (2 points)

4. Include a photo of your object with your car and ramp set-up. (2 points)

5. Write a detailed description of the motion of an object whose motion is shown in the attached graph. Copy of moving around graph.xls Include information such as speed and direction, as well as if the object is at rest, moving at a constant speed, speeding up, or slowing down, and at what times. (Assume it is traveling in a straight line.) (2 points)