Using students' step length to understand the relationship between distance, speed and acceleration. Includes graphing of data and interpretation of graphs.
Students analyze the relationship between wheel radius, linear velocity and angular velocity by using LEGO(TM) MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots. Given various robots with different wheel sizes and fixed motor speeds, they predict which has the fastest linear velocity. Then student teams collect and graph data to analyze the relationships between wheel size and linear velocity and find the angular velocity of the robot given its motor speed. Students explore other ways to increase linear velocity by changing motor speeds, and discuss and evaluate the optimal wheel size and desired linear velocities on vehicles.
This activity is a lab investigation where students design a balloon car to collect data about speed and velocity.
Bernoulli's principle relates the pressure of a fluid to its elevation and its speed. Bernoulli's equation can be used to approximate these parameters in water, air or any fluid that has very low viscosity. Students learn about the relationships between the components of the Bernoulli equation through real-life engineering examples and practice problems.
This Cyberchase video segment features Bianca, who must figure out the fastest route to a movie premiere.
Students build their own small-scale model roller coasters using pipe insulation and marbles, and then analyze them using physics principles learned in the associated lesson. They examine conversions between kinetic and potential energy and frictional effects to design roller coasters that are completely driven by gravity. A class competition using different marbles types to represent different passenger loads determines the most innovative and successful roller coasters.
This task operates at two levels. In part it is a simple exploration of the relationship between speed, distance, and time. Part (c) requires understanding of the idea of average speed, and gives an opportunity to address the common confusion between average speed and the average of the speeds for the two segments of the trip. At a higher level, the task addresses N-Q.3, since realistically neither the car nor the bus is going to travel at exactly the same speed from beginning to end of each segment; there is time traveling through traffic in cities, and even on the autobahn the speed is not constant. Thus students must make judgements about the level of accuracy with which to report the result.
Students apply their knowledge of linear regression and design to solve a real-world challenge to create a better packing solution for shipping cell phones. They use different materials, such as cardboard, fabric, plastic, and rubber bands to create new “composite material” packaging containers. Teams each create four prototypes made of the same materials and constructed in the same way, with the only difference being their weights, so each one is fabricated with a different amount of material. They test the three heavier prototype packages by dropping them from different heights to see how well they protect a piece of glass inside (similar in size to iPhone 6). Then students use linear regression to predict from what height they can drop the fourth/final prototype of known mass without the “phone” breaking. Success is not breaking the glass but not underestimating the height by too much either, which means using math to accurately predict the optimum drop height.
This activity is an inquiry lab where students are challenged to create a slow moving and fast moving plane and measure the speed.
The CyberSquad tracks Digital position in time and then studies graphs to figure out what Hacker is scheming in this video from Cyberchase.
Student groups are provided with a generic car base on which to design a device/enclosure to protect an egg on or in the car as it rolls down a ramp at increasing slopes. During this in-depth physics/science/technology activity, student teams design, build and test their creations to meet the design challenge, and are expected to perform basic mathematical calculations using collected data, including a summative cost to benefit ratio.
In this activity, students will learn about and apply the Laws of Physics to successfully launch and land a raw egg. The activity frames the problem around designing and building a bottle rocket that will protect a raw egg being launched into the air at least seven meters. Resources included in this lesson are found at the bottom of this document and include:
-Physics note sheets on motion, speed, velocity, acceleration, momentum, force, friction, Newton’s Laws of Motion, potential and kinetic energy and gravity.
-Egg Launch Instructions
-Link to Bottle Rocket Launching Instructions
-Links to videos
The CyberSquad tests which broom can travel the furthest in five seconds in this video from Cyberchase.
In this video segment from Cyberchase, Harry decides to train as a firefighter and uses line graphs to chart his physical fitness progress.
Explore the forces at work in a tug of war or pushing a refrigerator, crate, or person. Create an applied force and see how it makes objects move. Change friction and see how it affects the motion of objects.
Students work as engineers and learn to conduct controlled experiments by changing one experimental variable at a time to study its effect on the experiment outcome. Specifically, they conduct experiments to determine the angular velocity for a gear train with varying gear ratios and lengths. Student groups assemble LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots with variously sized gears in a gear train and then design programs using the NXT software to cause the motor to rotate all the gears in the gear train. They use the LEGO data logging program and light sensors to set up experiments. They run the program with the motor and the light sensor at the same time and analyze the resulting plot in order to determine the angular velocity using the provided physics-based equations. Finally, students manipulate the gear train with different gears and different lengths in order to analyze all these factors and figure out which manipulation has a higher angular velocity. They use the equations for circumference of a circle and angular velocity; and convert units between radians and degrees.
A gear is a simple machine that is very useful to increase the speed or torque of a wheel. In this activity, students learn about the trade-off between speed and torque when designing gear ratios. The activity setup includes a LEGO(TM) MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT pulley system with two independent gear sets and motors that spin two pulleys. Each pulley has weights attached by string. In a teacher demonstration, the effect of adding increasing amounts of weight to the pulley systems with different gear ratios is observed as the system's ability to lift the weights is tested. Then student teams are challenged to design a gear set that will lift a given load as quickly as possible. They test and refine their designs to find the ideal gear ratio, one that provides enough torque to lift the weight while still achieving the fastest speed possible.
Students are introduced to gear transmissions and gear ratios using LEGO MINDSTORMS(TM) NXT robots, gears and software. They discover how gears work and how they can be used to adjust a vehicle's power. Specifically, they learn how to build the transmission part of a vehicle by designing gear trains with different gear ratios. Students quickly recognize that some tasks require vehicle speed while others are more suited for vehicle power. They are introduced to torque, which is a twisting force, and to speed the two traits of all rotating engines, including mobile robots using gears, bicycles and automobiles. Once students learn the principles behind gear ratios, they are put to the test in two simple design activities that illustrate the mechanical advantages of gear ratios. The "robot race" is better suited for a quicker robot while the "robot push" calls for a more powerful robot. A worksheet and post-activity quiz verify that students understand the concepts, including the tradeoff between torque and speed.