This helps the students really construct an understanding of each of these graphs individually and also construct an understanding of how these two graphs are related to each other.
The goal of this activity (which takes several days depending on the level of the students and their mathematical skills) are:
- Describe the motion represented by a position-time graph.
- Sketch a velocity-time graph to scale given a position-time graph.
- Describe the motion represented by a velocity-time graph.
- Sketch a position-time graph to scale given a velocity-time graph.
I have attached a copy of the instructions I give to my students during this activity.
Step 1: Why Make Predictions?
I ask students to:
- individually sketch their graph without consulting others
- once their lab group has all made individual predictions, discuss their predictions as a group
- if they choose to, students can change their prediction
- all predictions have to include a reason why things happen the way they do
Step 2: Introducing Students to Equipment
- how to connect the equipment
- how to save data
- how to autoscale the axes of the graph
- how to zoom in and out of the graph
- how to read the coordinates of a datapoint off of a graph
- how to use the slope tool to identify the slope at a specific point on the graph
Then I give the students time to explore and discover the wonders of motion graphs!