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Natural Science - Year I

Unit 9: Determining velocity and acceleration

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Lab Assignment for Unit 9

This Unit's Homework Page History Lecture Science Lecture Lab Parents' Notes

Natural Science Unit 0 Laboratory Activity:
Measuring Velocity and Acceleration

Goal: To measure velocity and acceleration in a simple system.

Materials and Equipment:


  1. Set up your ramp on a level surface. Raise one end of the ramp about 1.5 cm (no more than 1 inch).
  2. Place the marble at the top of the ramp and release it with zero starting velocity.
  3. Measure how far down the ramp the marble rolls in two seconds.
  4. Repeat your experiment at least 4 times (5 total trials).
  5. Repeat the entire experiment (another 5 trials), measuring how far the marble rolls in three seconds.

Data Analysis:

  1. Organize your data in a table like this one:
    Trial # Time (seconds) Distance (centimeters or inches)
  2. Calculate the average distance the marble rolled in two seconds.
  3. Calculate the average distance the marble rolled in three seconds.
  4. Calculate the average change in speed (acceleration), if any.
  5. Is your marble accelerating?


  1. 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.
  2. Determine whether your marble is accelerating, and if so, by how much.