The Graphs and Tracks Model allows instructors to create custom models of a ball rolling on a track with a variable shape. This EJS model was inspired by the Graphs and Tracks program by David Trowbridge. Instructors set the heights of the track segments and the model displays the motion of the ball. Optional displays, including position and velocity graphs, energy graphs, and data tables, can be added depending on the learning goals for the activity. Documents can aslo be added to the model to provide student instructions or activities. The customized simulation is then saved as a new jar file that can be redistributed.
The Graphs and Tracks Model was created using the Easy Java Simulations (EJS) modeling tool. It is distributed as a ready-to-run (compiled) Java archive. Double clicking the jar file will run the program if Java is installed.
Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.6 of
Editor's Note: Students at all levels will be able to explore fundamental principles of motion and force through this "customizable" simulation,
Graphs and Tracks: Additional Documentation Regarding Customization
A pdf file that provides additional documentation regarding customization of this simulation. download 185kb .pdf
Published: June 2, 2012
Graphs and Tracks 3 Ramp Exploration Package
This launcher package provides 3 ramps for use with the Graphs and Tracks 3 Ramp Exploration. download 2224kb .jar
Published: June 2, 2012
Graphs and Tracks Source Code
The source code zip archive contains an EJS-XML representation of the Graphs and Tracks Model. Unzip this archive in your EJS workspace to compile and run… more... download 26kb .zip
Last Modified: July 21, 2012
6-8: 4E/M4. Energy appears in different forms and can be transformed within a system. Motion energy is associated with the speed of an object. Thermal energy is associated with the temperature of an object. Gravitational energy is associated with the height of an object above a reference point. Elastic energy is associated with the stretching or compressing of an elastic object. Chemical energy is associated with the composition of a substance. Electrical energy is associated with an electric current in a circuit. Light energy is associated with the frequency of electromagnetic waves.
9-12: 4E/H1. Although the various forms of energy appear very different, each can be measured in a way that makes it possible to keep track of how much of one form is converted into another. Whenever the amount of energy in one place diminishes, the amount in other places or forms increases by the same amount.
3-5: 4F/E1a. Changes in speed or direction of motion are caused by forces.
3-5: 4F/E1bc. The greater the force is, the greater the change in motion will be. The more massive an object is, the less effect a given force will have.
NSES Content Standards
Con.B: Physical Science
5-8: Motion & Forces
9-12: Conservation of Energy & Increase in Disorder
Christian, W., & Belloni, M. (2012). Graphs and Tracks Model (Version 1.0) [Computer software]. Retrieved April 21, 2014, from http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12023&DocID=2887
%0 Computer Program %A Christian, Wolfgang %A Belloni, Mario %D May 30, 2012 %T Graphs and Tracks Model %7 1.0 %8 May 30, 2012 %U http://www.compadre.org/Repository/document/ServeFile.cfm?ID=12023&DocID=2887
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