Hit the Ground Running - Speed and Measurement

Most science courses begin with units and unit conversions but students rarely appreciate the importance of units and measurement. At Boston Latin School, introductory physics students design and build devices to measure time and distance in their own units. The students then use these devices to measure the speed of their classmates while walking or running. They then report their results to the class. To determine who is the fastest in the class the students find that they must convert all the data to a standard unit, which requires them to find the conversion factor between their unit of measurement and the chosen standard. We will guide participants through this activity and discuss the benefits for students.

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