- Physics

- College & CEGEP
- University

- Mechanics

- Group

- Collecting & seeking information
- Solving problems
- Analyzing
- Reviewing & assessing peers

- Computers or interactive whiteboards
- Tracker software

- Small (20-49)

Single class period (< 90 mins)

- Exploration & inquiry

- Array
- Array

In this activity, students will use the Tracker software to analyze projectile motion, then determine which equations fit the plots produced. (Video analysis and modeling tool - Tracker software)

In groups of 3-4, students go outdoors and take a video of themselves throwing an object, being careful to frame the video correctly and to include some means of distance calibration (such as a meter stick), and ensuring the camera does not move while they film. This can be done using a cell phone.

Students then return to a ...

Read More +In this activity, students will use the Tracker software to analyze projectile motion, then determine which equations fit the plots produced. (Video analysis and modeling tool - Tracker software)

In groups of 3-4, students go outdoors and take a video of themselves throwing an object, being careful to frame the video correctly and to include some means of distance calibration (such as a meter stick), and ensuring the camera does not move while they film. This can be done using a cell phone.

Students then return to a computer or interactive whiteboard and upload this video into the Tracker software (for example by emailing themselves the video), and calibrate the axes and distances. They then track the object frame by frame as a point mass using the software, which uses this data to produce plots of position, velocity, and acceleration along both axes.

Students switch work stations with another group, analyzing the other group's work. They use the other group's plots to determine which equations best fit the data for each of the six plots, solving for any necessary coefficients.

At the end, the instructor can lead a class discussion of the equations and how they relate to one another, as well as what each coefficient means. This can also lead into a calculus-based discussion if appropriate.

Read Less -- Students learn to create and interpret kinematic plots describing an object’s motion, and learn the relationship between them.
- Students learn how to find an equation describing a plot, and gain a deeper understanding of why kinematic equations successfully describe motion.

Published: 18/09/2018

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