Introduction: Learn About Acceleration With Rocket Cars!

Picture of Learn About Acceleration With Rocket Cars!

A miniature rocket engine, pen tubes,  a Hot Wheel and a little bit of hot glue will be the perfect aid to learn about acceleration! 

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The Essentials:
- Hot Wheel car, or a car of equal value (Solid, Not an obvious China product)
- A model rocket engine
- A couple of pens.
- Some sort of adhesive

If you want to try to make your car more sturdy, also try:
-Zip ties
-Wire
-Anything that'll strap down that rocket engine right

For the Track:
-Photogates
-6 meter board (for the base of the track)
- 2long wires
- stands for the photogates
-Computer
-Car Battery
-2 more wires from the battery

Step 2: Preparing the Car

if you are doing this, it's probably with a group of people. These people are your enemies, and they want to show you up. So when preparing your car, you want to make sure that: 1. It is suited for the track, and 2. That your car is 10 times more badass than your friends. In my particular case, we had a track with 2 wires running down it, to prevent the car from going out of control.
To start it off, you need to make an area for your rocket to fit in or on. Cut, remove, sew, Whatever you have to do in order to make room for your engine.
Next, use your adhesive (I used hot glue) to put your engin in place. Make sure that when your car is on the ground, the engine is parallele to the ground. You dont want it pointing at an angle. Let your adhesive dry.
Now that your engine is in place, add anything extra that will help your engin stay on the. The engine is small, but strong, and if not properly attached, it'll leave your hot wheel behind. I saw people use wire, zip ties, and strips of cloth. Triple check that your engin is secure, then move on to attaching the pen tubes.
The wires that run down the track are going to go through the pen tubes, so want them to be spaced out a around the same as the wires on the track. The wireas are paralle to eachother and to the ground, so the pen tubes should be too. 
After all the glue has dried, insert the metal piece in the back of your rocket and cap it.

Step 3: Preparing the Track.

Picture of Preparing the Track.

1. you want to mark the board at 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 meters.
2. Set up 5 Photogates on stands.
3. Put the photogates along the marks you madeon the board. Make sure that theyre close enought for the car t trip the photogates, but that there is enough distance so the cars dont detroy them.
4. Test the photogates and make sure they are connected to a computer with the software to collect data.
5. Double check the photogates.

Step 4: Now That Everything Is Ready....

Your car is ready and your track is waiting to be played with, It's time to step outside. Make sure that wherever you decide to do this experiment is not in direct sunlight, because the photogates will not work properly. This is how you set up the experiment

1. you unwind the 2 wires that run down the track to put  them throught your cars pen tubes
2. once they are through, tighten them once again
3. Make sure the car runs down the track without a problem
4. hook up wires to the metal wire piece that is inserted in the back of your rocket
5. the other ends of these wire are gonna touch the + and the -  of the  car battery to set off your rocket.
6. Test your photogates one last time to make sure they are working and make sure they are hooked up to the computer
7. Now sett off the rocket!

Step 5: What to Do With the Data

If carried out correctly, you will be able to accuratly calculate the velocity and the acceleration of the car.
 

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