the Concord Consortium
the National Science Foundation
This activity explores the relationship between graphs of Distance vs. Time and Velocity vs. Time by blending a motion sensor lab with student-generated digital graphs. First, learners use the online graph sketching tool to predict graphs of both distance and velocity for a toy car being pushed up a ramp and allowed to coast back down. Next, they use a motion sensor to collect data on a real toy being pushed up a ramp. Finally, they analyze differences in slope between their original predictions and the actual data from the motion sensor. See Related Materials for a similar blended-learning lab that explores simple, straight-line motion.
This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.
Please note that this resource requires
Editor's Note:Users must register to access full functionality of all the tools available with this resource, which include graph creation, acquiring and sharing real-time data, and creating classroom fields for record-keeping and assessment. This resource was developed for use in middle school, but may be easily adapted for high school.
Metadata instance created
April 23, 2012
by Caroline Hall
January 24, 2013
by Caroline Hall
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
3-5: 4F/E1a. Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.
6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.
9. The Mathematical World
9B. Symbolic Relationships
3-5: 9B/E2. Tables and graphs can show how values of one quantity are related to values of another.
6-8: 9B/M3. Graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables. As one variable increases uniformly, the other may do one of the following: increase or decrease steadily, increase or decrease faster and faster, get closer and closer to some limiting value, reach some intermediate maximum or minimum, alternately increase and decrease, increase or decrease in steps, or do something different from any of these.
11. Common Themes
3-5: 11B/E4. Models are very useful for communicating ideas about objects, events, and processes. When using a model to communicate about something, it is important to keep in mind how it is different from the thing being modeled.
6-8: 11B/M5. The usefulness of a model depends on how closely its behavior matches key aspects of what is being modeled. The only way to determine the usefulness of a model is to compare its behavior to the behavior of the real-world object, event, or process being modeled.
12. Habits of Mind
12C. Manipulation and Observation
6-8: 12C/M3. Make accurate measurements of length, volume, weight, elapsed time, rates, and temperature by using appropriate devices.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments
Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)
MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
MP.4 Model with mathematics.
Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and
mathematical problems. (5)
5.G.2 Represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in the first quadrant of the coordinate plane, and interpret coordinate values of points in the context of the situation.
Expressions and Equations (6-8)
Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between
dependent and independent variables. (6)
6.EE.9 Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation.
Define, evaluate, and compare functions. (8)
8.F.2 Compare properties of two functions each represented in a different way (algebraically, graphically, numerically in tables, or by verbal descriptions).
Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (8)
8.F.4 Construct a function to model a linear relationship between two quantities. Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y) values, including reading these from a table or from a graph. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its graph or a table of values.
8.F.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.
Common Core State Reading Standards for Literacy in Science and Technical Subjects 6—12
Key Ideas and Details (6-12)
RST.6-8.3 Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas (6-12)
RST.6-8.7 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table).
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity (6-12)
RST.6-8.10 By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 6—8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion Unit Title: Graphing
This activity blends a motion sensor lab with digital graph modeling. Students use the online graph-sketching tool to predict graphs of distance vs. time and velocity vs. time. Next, they use a motion sensor to collect data on a real toy being pushed up a ramp. Last, they analyze differences between their predictions and the actual data. Highly recommended by the editors. For beginners, try first introducing the activity directly above.
%0 Electronic Source %D 2006 %T Concord Consortium: Motion on a Ramp %I The Concord Consortium %V 2013 %N 9 December 2013 %9 application/java %U http://itsi.diy.concord.org/activities/687
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