Race Car Lab-Fatemeh (Mahya) Babakhanlo

Race Car Lab


How long does it take for a car to move 2 meters?  We all have a good idea that if it takes a smaller period of time to move 2 meters, the car must be moving faster.

A common unit for speed is meter per second.  From this it is easy to figure out the formula that we have to use to calculate the speed of a toy car. Meter is a unit to measure distance and second is a unit to measure time. Now, think about the following questions:


1) Does the angle of the ramp effect the speed and time it takes the car to reach the end of the ramp?


2) How does the height of the ramp effect speed?  


In this lab, you are going to determine the speed of a toy car. This lab is designed to give students an in-depth look at the relationship between distance and time.

Learning Objective(s) for Content:

Students should be able to apply the knowledge they have gained about speed and average speed to most of the everyday task and be able to calculate the calculate the average speed in any given situation. 

Students should be able to construct a graph from a given data table and be able to analyze the graph and the data table and be able to answer series of questions related to the motion, speed and average speed of an object. 

Students should also be able to recognize the change in the speed by looking at the slop of the line in the graph they have constructed. 

Learning Objective(s) for Academic Language:

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills:

Students should be able to use the key terms they have learned during previous lesson and use them to demonstrate the speed of an abject. Students should also be able to use an appropriate unit to describe the speed or average speed of an object.  (For example, the bus has an average speed of 12 m/s).

Students should know that motion of objects can be measured.

Students should, also, be able to use their prior knowledge of graphing from beginning of the semester to construct the appropriate type of graph to show the changes over period of time.  

CA- California K-12 Academic Content Standards
• Subject Science
• Grade Grade Eight
• Area Focus on Physical Science
• Sub-Strand Motion
• Concept 1The velocity of an object is the rate of change of its position. As a basis for understanding this concept:
 Standard bStudents know that average speed is the total distance traveled divided by the total time elapsed and that the speed of an object along the path traveled can vary.
 Standard cStudents know how to solve problems involving distance, time, and average speed.
 Standard fStudents know how to interpret graphs of position versus time and graphs of speed versus time for motion in a single direction.

• Area Investigation and Experimentation
• Sub-Strand 9Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:
 Standard aPlan and conduct a scientific investigation to test a hypothesis.
 Standard cDistinguish between variable and controlled parameters in a test.
 Standard fApply simple mathematic relationships to determine a missing quantity in a mathematic expression, given the two remaining terms (including speed = distance/ time, density = mass/volume, force = pressure x area, volume = area x height).
    Standard eConstruct appropriate graphs from data and develop quantitative  
   statements about the relationships between variables.

Norman Herr,
Nov 18, 2010, 2:09 PM
Norman Herr,
Nov 18, 2010, 2:08 PM
Norman Herr,
Nov 18, 2010, 2:10 PM
Norman Herr,
Nov 18, 2010, 2:10 PM