A Day at the Races

This lesson allows students to calculate speed through a lab experiment. Materials are simple and easy for students to manipulate. After the experiment students will answer higher order questions regarding the final outcome of their investigation. Through hands-on, problem solving, writing, and illustrating a variety of learning needs are met. This investigation has students calculating speed through changes made in slope and mass. Students are provided a hands-on opportunity as they work through the scientific process.  Problem solving and math skills are embedded in this lesson. Facilitation from teacher will provide trouble shooting assistance. The use of this activity will help students understand the relationship between force, mass and acceleration.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 

Additional Experiment: 

Set up the track as above. Put an object at the bottom of the track, such as a ball. Release the car down the track and let it hit the ball. Record the distance the ball travels. Then add weight to the car (tape on the pennies or washers) and release it again. Record the distance the ball travels. What is the relationship between the distance traveled by the ball and the mass of the car?