the Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development
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This item is a PBL (Problem-Based Learning) activity for introductory physics relating to conservation of momentum, frictional force, and kinetic energy. This scenario involves a crash in which a small car is struck broadside by a vehicle of more than double its mass. Students must determine whether either driver engaged in reckless driving. To solve the problem, students work cooperatively to calculate the coefficient of friction on the roadway, velocity of each vehicle at the time of the crash, and velocity of the vehicles prior to braking. They will use a combination of strategies: Work-Energy Theorem and kinematic equations.
In keeping with the PBL method, students will sift through information to separate useful from irrelevant data, locate missing information on their own, and then apply physics in finding solutions to real-life problems.
This resource includes a printable student manual and a password-protected teacher's guide with solutions and tips for instructors. (Accessing the teacher's guide requires registration with the authors.) SEE RELATED ITEMS ON THIS PAGE for a link to the full collection of PBL exercises by the same authors.
CCDMD, Newton's First Law, PBL, Problem based learning, Work-Energy Theorem, acceleration, context rich, experiential learning, friction, inelastic collision, inertia, kinetic energy, momentum, problem solving, work
Metadata instance created
November 10, 2009
by Caroline Hall
6-8: 4E/M2. Energy can be transferred from one system to another (or from a system to its environment) in different ways: 1) thermally, when a warmer object is in contact with a cooler one; 2) mechanically, when two objects push or pull on each other over a distance; 3) electrically, when an electrical source such as a battery or generator is connected in a complete circuit to an electrical device; or 4) by electromagnetic waves.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.
9-12: 4F/H7. In most familiar situations, frictional forces complicate the description of motion, although the basic principles still apply.
9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.
12. Habits of Mind
12B. Computation and Estimation
9-12: 12B/H2. Find answers to real-world problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas and check the answer by reviewing the steps of the calculation and by judging whether the answer is reasonable.
9-12: 12B/H3. Make up and write out simple algorithms for solving real-world problems that take several steps.
12D. Communication Skills
9-12: 12D/H1. Make and interpret scale drawings.
9-12: 12D/H7. Use tables, charts, and graphs in making arguments and claims in oral, written, and visual presentations.
9-12: 12D/H8. Use symbolic equations to represent relationships between objects and events.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments
High School — Number and Quantity (9-12)
Vector and Matrix Quantities (9-12)
N-VM.3 (+) Solve problems involving velocity and other quantities that can be represented by vectors.
High School — Algebra (9-12)
Seeing Structure in Expressions (9-12)
A-SSE.1.a Interpret parts of an expression, such as terms, factors, and coefficients.
High School — Functions (9-12)
Interpreting Functions (9-12)
F-IF.4 For a function that models a relationship between two quantities, interpret key features of graphs and tables in terms of the quantities, and sketch graphs showing key features given a verbal description of the relationship.?
F-IF.6 Calculate and interpret the average rate of change of a function (presented symbolically or as a table) over a specified interval. Estimate the rate of change from a graph.
Common Core State Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6—12
Key Ideas and Details (6-12)
RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
Craft and Structure (6-12)
RST.11-12.4 Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 11—12 texts and topics.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (6-12)
RST.11-12.9 Synthesize information from a range of sources (e.g., texts, experiments, simulations) into a coherent understanding of a process, phenomenon, or concept, resolving conflicting information when possible.
Common Core State Writing Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects 6—12
Research to Build and Present Knowledge (6-12)
WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
<a href="http://www.compadre.org/introphys/items/detail.cfm?ID=9633">Cyr, Camil. Problem Based Learning: Collision Investigation (1-D). Montreal: Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development, December 31, 2008.</a>
C. Cyr, (Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development, Montreal, 2008), WWW Document, (http://pbl.ccdmd.qc.ca/resultat.php?action=clicFiche&he=1050&afficheRecherche=99&IDFiche=150&endroitRetour=99&lesMotsCles=collision).
C. Cyr, Problem Based Learning: Collision Investigation (1-D), (Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development, Montreal, 2008), <http://pbl.ccdmd.qc.ca/resultat.php?action=clicFiche&he=1050&afficheRecherche=99&IDFiche=150&endroitRetour=99&lesMotsCles=collision>.
Cyr, C. (2008, December 31). Problem Based Learning: Collision Investigation (1-D). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development: http://pbl.ccdmd.qc.ca/resultat.php?action=clicFiche&he=1050&afficheRecherche=99&IDFiche=150&endroitRetour=99&lesMotsCles=collision
Cyr, Camil. Problem Based Learning: Collision Investigation (1-D). Montreal: Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development, December 31, 2008. http://pbl.ccdmd.qc.ca/resultat.php?action=clicFiche&he=1050&afficheRecherche=99&IDFiche=150&endroitRetour=99&lesMotsCles=collision (accessed 18 September 2014).
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%0 Electronic Source %A Cyr, Camil %D December 31, 2008 %T Problem Based Learning: Collision Investigation (1-D) %I Collegial Centre for Educational Materials Development %V 2014 %N 18 September 2014 %8 December 31, 2008 %9 application/ms-word %U http://pbl.ccdmd.qc.ca/resultat.php?action=clicFiche&he=1050&afficheRecherche=99&IDFiche=150&endroitRetour=99&lesMotsCles=collision
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This is the full collection of Problem-Based Learning activities compiled and written by the same authors. Topics include kinematics, dynamics, work and energy, circular motion, and conservation of energy.