Inquiry-Based Motion Lab

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This is an outdoor lab where students walk, jog, and run to learn more about distance, speed, and acceleration. This lab could be modified to be indoor, you would just need some extra hallway space, and cut out the running.

This is the first inquiry-based experiment my students do in the year, so the first half is traditional, and students have to make the leap to develop a plan to solve for acceleration on their own.

I intentionally let students struggle with the idea for awhile, before I help them.

The aim of the lab is for students to realize they cannot measure acceleration with a stopwatch, so they need to break it down into parts that they can measure.

Ideally, students will realize that if one student measures the top speed of a runner for the last 5 yards, that can be assumed as a constant, top speed. Another student will measure the time to complete the full length of the course. The students now have information to calculate Final Speed, and total time to run 20 yards.

This lab can definitely be a struggle, and the lesson can be expanded to include an introduction into inquiry-based labs.
Total Pages
4 Pages
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N/A
Teaching Duration
2 Days

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Inquiry-Based Motion Lab
Inquiry-Based Motion Lab
Inquiry-Based Motion Lab
Inquiry-Based Motion Lab