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Graphing Motion of Dragster

Graphing Motion of Dragster


In this activity you will be testing out my new program for generating motion graphs for accelerating.


  1. Open the program found here in a new tab.

  2. Click on the engine button to set the initial parameters for your experiment.  You are free to pick any combination of variables for this first run.

  3. In your lab book, set up a data table that will have the time and the position for your car.  When you graph, I want you to put time on the x-axis, so you data table should probably look like this:

  4. Return to Atco Raceway and then click start.  The first time through you are not to collect any data, but simply to watch the progress of your car.

  5. After your car completes its 400 m run, hit reset and then the start button again.  This time the program will automatically pause the motion of the car at the points where you need to collect data.  In order to get a complete picture of your car's motion, you will be collecting 16 data points for this run.  Record the time and estimate the position of the nose of the dragster to the nearest meter.

  6. When you are done collecting your data, make a plot of Position vs. Time.  Look at your graph carefully, you should have two different regions to your graph.  For the first part of the run your graph should show acceleration and the second part should show constant velocity.  

  7. Highlight the constant velocity part of the run and give it a linear fit to find the top speed of your dragster.  Highlight the acceleration part of your run and curve fit it like a squared graph. 

  8. Copy your graphs with both of your  equations into your lab book

Things to have in your lab book:

  • Purpose
  • Data Tables

  • Graphs with the distinct motions of the car written on the graph.