Natural Science Unit 0 Laboratory Activity:
Measuring Velocity and Acceleration
Goal: To measure velocity and acceleration in a simple system.
Materials and Equipment:
- Ruler (preferably with a central grove) or other long, flat, ramp at least 12 inches (30 cm) long.
- Marble or other small smooth ball
- Clock with second hand
- Set up your ramp on a level surface. Raise one end of the ramp about 1.5 cm (no more than 1 inch).
- Place the marble at the top of the ramp and release it with zero starting velocity.
- Measure how far down the ramp the marble rolls in two seconds.
- Repeat your experiment at least 4 times (5 total trials).
- Repeat the entire experiment (another 5 trials), measuring how far the marble rolls in three seconds.
- Organize your data in a table like this one:
||Distance (centimeters or inches)
- Calculate the average distance the marble rolled in two seconds.
- Calculate the average distance the marble rolled in three seconds.
- Calculate the average change in speed (acceleration), if any.
- Is your marble accelerating?
- Describe your setup and procedure in your own words, in enough detail that someone unfamiliar with this lab could repeat your experiment as precisely as possible.
- Determine whether your marble is accelerating, and if so, by how much.
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