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November 2011

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One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning Documents

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Main Document

One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning 

written by Loo Kang Wee

We develop an Easy Java Simulation (EJS) model for students to experience the physics of idealized one-dimensional collision carts. The physics model is described and simulated by both continuous dynamics and discrete transition during collision. In the field of designing computer simulations, we discuss briefly three pedagogical considerations such as 1) consistent simulation world view with pen paper representation, 2) data table, scientific graphs and symbolic mathematical representations for ease of data collection and multiple representational visualizations and 3) game for simple concept testing that can further support learning. We also suggest using physical world setup to be augmented complimentarily with simulation while highlighting three advantages of real collision carts equipment like tacit 3D experience, random errors in measurement and conceptual significance of conservation of momentum applied to just before and after collision. General feedback from the students has been relatively positive, and we hope teachers will find the simulation useful in their own classes.

Published May 1, 2012
Last Modified April 27, 2012

Supplemental Documents (4)

One Dimensional Collision Cart Worksheet 

A worksheet to investigate the mechanics of the collision of two carts using the Loo Kang Wee collision cart model.

Last Modified April 27, 2012

This file has previous versions.

One Dimensional Collision Cart Worksheet Answer Key 

Answer key for worksheet to investigate the mechanics of the collision of two carts using the Loo Kang Wee collision cart model.

Last Modified April 27, 2012

This file has previous versions.

One Dimensional Collision Cart Tracker Package 

A video clip and Tracker file analyzing a collision cart experiment.

Last Modified April 27, 2012

One-dimensional collision carts model 

Ready-to-run computer simulation described in paper.

Last Modified May 2, 2012

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