We have been studying force and motion in my classroom recently and that means lots of experiments with cars! First, we explored height and how gravity is a force by creating a ramp of just basic wood and our science textbooks.
Together students took on the roles of managing a stopwatch, measuring the distance, and calculating the speed. As they zoomed the cars down the ramps, students were quick to discover that the higher the book, the greater the speed.
In fact, once they created a height of five books, they were amazed to discover that in every group, the car started to curve and change directions at the end of the ramp. We hypothesized why this was. It was fun to hear their ideas. Some thought it was like being out of control on ice because the force was just too great to control.
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