This activity is done by motion detectors and the program "MacMotion"
supplied from Vernier Software. It can be
done using computers or calculators and a CBL with motion probe, also from
Vernier. A more structure activity can be found in Tools for Scientific
Thinking, also from Vernier.
- Explore the distance / time graphs using your body as the object of
the motion detector.
- Describe how you move to create a straight diagonal line.
- Describe how you move to increase and descrease the slope of this
- Describe how you must move to create a negative vs positve slope.
- Describe how you move to create a curve on your graph.
- Describe how you must move to create a horizontal line above the
- Describe how you must move to create a horizontal line below the
- Describe how you move to mimic the distance match graph you can open
in the program.
- Predict, by sketching the velocity / time graphs for each of
the above cases a-g. In a different color draw what the velocity time
graph looks like on the same axis as your original prediction.
- Using the two graph display, crate the a-g graphs described above as
velocity / time graphs instead of distance time graphs.
- How do you move to create these velocity graphs a-g?
- How does the corresponding distance graph appear, you may wish to
- Explain how you must move to match the velocity match which you can
- Using the three graph display, explain the following cases.
- What happens when a mass attached to a cart to pull it, fall off the
- What happens when the mass has hit the floor?
- How friction affects the above results?
- What happens when a cart is pushed to go gently up an inclined ramp
and roll back down again. DO NOT HIT THE DETECTOR WITH THE CART
- It the velocity change the same magnitude in both direction, why or
- What forces are acting in a-d and in what direction?
- What is the significance of the signs in d for each graph?
- Use the analyze function, creat a means of going from one type of
graph to another, support this with specific data.
Return to Massachusetts Academy for
Mathematics and Science
Return to the Physics Page
Return to Jacklyn Bonneau's Homepage
Please send comments or ideas to Jacklyn bonneau at
Last modified: June 1.1998