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.
© 2005 - 2021 This course is offered through Scholars Online, a non-profit organization supporting classical Christian education through online courses. Permission to copy course content (lessons and labs) for personal study is granted to students currently or formerly enrolled in the course through Scholars Online. Reproduction for any other purpose, without the express written consent of the author, is prohibited.