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published by the Concord Consortium
supported by the National Science Foundation
This activity for middle school blends a motion sensor lab with a digital "SmartGraph" tool to illustrate how a Position vs. Time graph can be used to find velocity. First, students use a digital graph sketcher to predict what a motion graph looks like at different speeds. Next, learners use a Vernier Go! motion device to record their own walking motion. The data from the motion sensing is automatically transmitted to the SmartGraph interface via a USB connection. Scaffolds are provided at intervals to help students calculate rise over run and understand how slope of a P/T graph is related to speed.
This item is part of the Concord Consortium, a nonprofit research and development organization dedicated to transforming education through technology. The Concord Consortium develops deeply digital learning innovations for science, mathematics, and engineering.
Please note that this resource requires Java.
Editor's Note: This resource is a package that includes lesson plan and assessment with answer key. The Vernier Go! motion sensing device is available in many venues at a cost of ~$100. Users must register to access full functionality of all the tools available with SmartGraphs, which include graph sketching, acquiring/sharing real-time data, creating databases for classroom record-keeping and assessment, and access to authoring tools for teachers wishing to customize SmartGraph content.
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
9. The Mathematical World
9B. Symbolic Relationships
11. Common Themes
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments
Standards for Mathematical Practice (K-12)
MP.2 Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
MP.4 Model with mathematics.
Graph points on the coordinate plane to solve real-world and mathematical problems. (5)
Expressions and Equations (6-8)
Understand the connections between proportional relationships, lines, and linear equations. (8)
Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (8)
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion
Unit Title: Velocity and Acceleration
This activity blends a motion sensor lab with digital SmartGraph software to help learners see how the slope of a P/T graph can be used to find velocity. Scaffolding is provided at intervals to help with calculations. Requires a Vernier Go! motion sensing device.Link to Unit:
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SmartGraphs: How Fast Am I Moving?:
Is Supplemented By The Physics Classroom: Describing Motion with Position vs. Time Graphs
An interactive tutorial that provides content support for K-8 teachers on the meaning of shape for a Position vs. Time graph.relation by Caroline Hall
Supplements Conceptual Development About Motion and Force in Elementary and Middle School Students
This cost-free article describes results of research in Grades 4, 6, and 8 on student understanding of motion. Findings suggest that students as young as Grade 6 can, with instruction, change entrenched incorrect concepts to construct accurate ideas about force and motion.relation by Caroline Hall
Is Part Of Concord Consortium: SmartGraphs
A link to the full collection of interactive activities developed by Concord Consortium's SmartGraphs project.relation by Caroline Hall
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Is Supplemented By