The Great Race

In this activity you will be asked to find the rate of change (speed) of the car over time. You will set up two meter sticks on your table. After collecting data, you should be able to use a t-table and graph to calculate the distance over time for the car (slope), and write an equation for the line of best fit. 

Materials needed:
  • math notebook/paper
  • pencil
  • wind up car
  • 2 meter/yard sticks
  • stop-watch 
Task 1: Setting up for the Activity

1) Working with your table, make sure you each have your a t-table drawn in your notebook as well as a pencil on your desks.
2) Locate the stopwatch on your iPad
3) Create a t-table. Label your x and y axes
4) Check your entire table to make sure their tables are labeled properly, then show your teacher. After your teacher has approved your labeling you will get your car 

Task 2: Collecting Data

1) Line up your meter sticks to make a track for the car
2) Have one person win up the car and get it ready to go. Let the car go. Record the time it takes to go 1ft, 2ft, and 3ft.
3) Make sure to record your data.
5) Find the slope of the line (rate of change) using the table of values in front of you. Remember you are trying to find the change in y divided by the change in x or rather the rise over run. 
6) Show your teacher before moving on.

Task 3: Graphing Your Data

1) Now that your t-table has been filled out, create an x/y axes and label the points. Where should the time in seconds go? On the x or y axis? What about the distance travelled?
2) Plot your points on the graph
3) Draw a line connecting your dots as best as you can making sure to add the arrowheads at the end. 
4) Use two points from your line of best fit to find the slope of your line. How does that slope compare to the slope you found from your t-table? Explain in a complete sentence. 

Task 4: Debriefing the Activity

1) What is the slope of the line (pick either one)? Explain what it means in terms of time and distance in a complete sentence.
2) What is the y-interept of the line? Explain what it means in terms of time and distance in a complete sentence.
3) Write the equation of the line in slope intercept form (y=mx+b)
4) Why does the y-intercept start where it does?
5) How would the y-intercept be different if your car started at 10cm already?
6) How much time would it take to go 20ft?
7) How long would it take this car to travel a mile (5,280 feet)?