## Reflection: Complex Tasks Car and Ramp - Calculating Acceleration - Section 3: Student Activity (Lab)

Of all the activities in this unit, this one is the most complex and difficult to perform. I suspect that part of the difficulty lies in the fact that students in the United States do not have an intuitive understanding of the metric system and they are unable to visualize an object accelerating at 10 centimeter per second every second that it travels.

To be successful with this activity, my students need experience working with a single photogate (Car and Ramp - Student Practice). Understanding that a single photogate can record the time a car takes to pass through a photogate seems to really help students comprehend the concepts in this lesson.

I would also recommend that any teacher attempting this activity should have their students practice using the acceleration formula with Calculating Acceleration Practice. Experience using this formula is almost mandatory if you expect proficiency from your students.

Most complex of all activities in this unit
Complex Tasks: Most complex of all activities in this unit

# Car and Ramp - Calculating Acceleration

Unit 8: Motion
Lesson 5 of 6

## Big Idea: Gather data such as initial velocity, final velocity, and time to calculate the acceleration of an object, something most middle schools never get the opportunity to do.

Print Lesson
1 teacher likes this lesson
Standards:
Subject(s):
135 minutes

### Sean Gillette

##### Similar Lessons

###### The Wagon and The Ball
8th Grade Science » Movement of Objects in Space & Time
Big Idea: Students explore a situation that may be familiar from childhood — what happens to a ball sitting in a wagon when the wagon moves? Simple? Not necessarily.
Favorites(27)
Resources(29)
Brookline, MA
Environment: Urban

###### Force & Motion - The Basics Net Force
7th Grade Science » Energy, Force & Motion
Big Idea: What forces are at work when objects move?
Favorites(19)
Resources(14)
Hope, IN
Environment: Rural

###### Float-a-Boat: Introduction to Scientific Inquiry and Design (Part 2/2)
6th Grade Science » Forces and Motion
Big Idea: Welcome to the water park! Students will create a “lazy river” boat from aluminum foil that will hold the most passengers.
Favorites(20)
Resources(15)
Boulder, CO
Environment: Suburban