Title: Measuring Velocity Purpose: to determine the velocity of vehicles moving in one direction Materials: centimeter ruler stopwatch calculator (Scientific Calculator Online) Procedure: Work with a partner. Use a stopwatch to measure the time it takes each vehicle to travel 20 cm. Repeat each measurement 10 times. Record data in your lab notebook (Sample Data Chart below) Compute average speed and/or velocity. Repeat for each vehicle.
car

rocket

bike 1

paper airplane

wagon

bike 2

bike 3

airplane

balloon

bus

train

spark

kayak

Results: These will be your data charts

Construct a data chart similar to the one below for EACH vehicle:

 Vehicle Name:____________________________ Trial Time (s) Distance (cm) Velocity or Speed * (cm/s) 1 . 20 . 2 . 20 . 3 . 20 . 4 . 20 . 5 . 20 . 6 . 20 . 7 . 20 . 8 . 20 . 9 . 20 . 10 . 20 . average . 20 . * indicate whether you are measuring speed or velocity for the particular vehicle

Discussion:

• Summarize what you did.
• Comment on the difficulties of measuring velocity.
• Was your timing the same for each of the 10 trials?
• For which vehicles could you measure velocity? For which could you measure speed?
• Discuss the differences between speed and velocity.
• Comment on sources of error.
• Suggest improvements

Conclusion: (a one sentence testable statement or a mathematical equation)

Reflection: (personal commentary on what you learned from the activity and/or its application to real life)

Animated Graphics Courtesy of
Jo's World