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 designing the simulations, we discuss briefly three pedagogical considerations namely (1) a consistent simulation world view with a pen and paper representation, (2) a data table, scientific graphs and symbolic mathematical representations for ease of data collection and multiple representational visualizations and (3) a game for simple concept testing that can further support learning. We also suggest using a physical world setup augmented by simulation by highlighting three advantages of real collision carts equipment such as a tacit 3D experience, random errors in measurement and the 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.

Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.6 of
Java (JRE).

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. download 133kb .doc
Last Modified: April 27, 2012

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. download 137kb .doc
Last Modified: April 27, 2012

One Dimensional Collision Cart Tracker Package
A video clip and Tracker file analyzing a collision cart experiment. download 4033kb .zip
Last Modified: April 27, 2012

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The final version of the article is available for purchase or via subscription from IOP Science. The preprint, supplemental worksheets, and model are freely available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

L. Wee, One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning, Phys. Educ. 47 (3 ), 301 (2012), <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11802&DocID=2741>.

Wee, L. (2012, May 1). One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning. Phys. Educ., 47(3 ), 301-308. Retrieved October 23, 2016, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11802&DocID=2741

Wee, Loo Kang. "One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning." Phys. Educ. 47.3 (2012): 301-308. 23 Oct. 2016 <http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11802&DocID=2741>.

%0 Journal Article %A Wee, Loo Kang %D May 1, 2012 %T One-dimensional collision carts computer model and its design ideas for productive experiential learning %J Phys. Educ. %V 47 %N 3 %P 301-308 %7 2012 %8 May 1, 2012 %@ 0031-9120 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=11802&DocID=2741

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