published by
the The Science House: NC State University

Battery-powered toy trucks and a motion detector are used in this lesson plan to help students conceptually explore motion graphing and terminology of kinematics. The author gives explicit directions for set-up of motion detector software using either Mac or PC. There are no calculations associated with this lab, making it especially appropriate for beginning students. Printable student data sheets are provided.

This item is part of a larger collection developed by North Carolina State University to improve the quality of teaching and learning in STEM education.

3-5: 4F/E2. How fast things move differs greatly. Some things are so slow that their journey takes a long time; others move too fast for people to even see them.

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

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.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation

9-12: 12B/H4. Use computer spreadsheet, graphing, and database programs to assist in quantitative analysis of real-world objects and events.

12C. Manipulation and Observation

9-12: 12C/H1. Follow instructions in manuals or seek help from an experienced user to learn how to operate new mechanical or electrical devices.

12D. Communication Skills

6-8: 12D/M1. Organize information in simple tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Ratios and Proportional Relationships (6-7)

Understand ratio concepts and use ratio reasoning to solve
problems. (6)

6.RP.3.a Make tables of equivalent ratios relating quantities with whole number measurements, find missing values in the tables, and plot the pairs of values on the coordinate plane. Use tables to compare ratios.

Analyze proportional relationships and use them to solve real-world
and mathematical problems. (7)

7.RP.2.a Decide whether two quantities are in a proportional relationship, e.g., by testing for equivalent ratios in a table or graphing on a coordinate plane and observing whether the graph is a straight line through the origin.

7.RP.2.b Identify the constant of proportionality (unit rate) in tables, graphs, equations, diagrams, and verbal descriptions of proportional relationships.

Functions (8)

Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (8)

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.

<a href="http://www.compadre.org/precollege/items/detail.cfm?ID=4227">The Science House: NC State University. The Science House: Speed Trap. Jacksonville: The Science House: NC State University, September 10, 2006.</a>

The Science House: Speed Trap, (The Science House: NC State University, Jacksonville, 2004), <http://www.thesciencehouse.org/empower-activities-with-technology/speed-trap.php>.

The Science House: Speed Trap. (2006, September 10). Retrieved September 22, 2014, from The Science House: NC State University: http://www.thesciencehouse.org/empower-activities-with-technology/speed-trap.php

The Science House: NC State University. The Science House: Speed Trap. Jacksonville: The Science House: NC State University, September 10, 2006. http://www.thesciencehouse.org/empower-activities-with-technology/speed-trap.php (accessed 22 September 2014).

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