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Time and Motion on Track


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Keywords: rate, velocity, displacement, physics, acceleration
Subject(s): Physics
Grades 9 through 12
School: Vassar High School, Vassar, MI
Planned By: Tanya Steele
Original Author: Tanya Steele, Vassar
Students will pair up; one student will be in the bleachers with a camera on a tripod.
One student will start walking on the track (at whatever pace they wish).

Every 30 seconds, the teacher will blow a whistle and the students will take a photograph of the entire track while their partners are walking.

After four laps (1 mile) the partners will switch positions.

The second partner will then photograph the track and his partner every 30 seconds.

After returning to the classroom, the photos will be printed out on 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of paper.

The students will create a motion diagram of each walker. Through measurement of time and distances, they will determine each partner's rate, velocity, displacement, and acceleration.

Since the football field is inside the track and the track is a quarter mile long, distances will be easily determined. The photographs are every 30 seconds so they are also easily measured.
Follow-Up
Ideas can be repeated with different objects such as insects, rolling balls, thrown balls...
Materials: Mobile Labs, Tripods, Memory Cards
Other Items: 1 paper, $6.00 each, total of $6.00