Day 11: More Motion Graphs & Data Analysis

Physical Science: Interpreting Motion Graphs

Students worked through a few questions based on a graph of an imaginary bike race. After a few straightforward interpretation questions like who started out the fastest and who finished first, I borrowed a page from Frank Noschese and asked students to come up with a few different ways to find the average velocity of Barry. Students then tested their approaches by using each speed to predict how long it should take Barry to finish the race. The average speed found by taking the total distance over the total time gave a result closest to his actual time, so students decided that is what we should use for average speed. They also liked that this was the easiest of all the approaches 🙂

The Bike Race

Physics: Data Analysis

Students graphed the position vs. time data they collected yesterday for a cart rolling down a ramp. I always waffle over whether to reserve a computer lab or a netbook cart for things like this. Our netbooks are a few years old and not terribly reliable, so using them means some technical glitches and frustration that can usually be avoided in a computer lab. On the other hand, I knew that some groups would need to collect additional data or to re-measure a few points. I could have clued those groups in yesterday, but I’d much rather they use their graph to see a need for additional data and make the choice themselves, which means they need access to lab equipment while graphing. Regardless of the netbook issues, just about every group got a position vs. time graph and (hopefully) knows what they need to do to make a linearized graph. Tomorrow, we’ll prep whiteboards and discuss the results.

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