Day 16: Clever StudentsPosted: September 18, 2013
Today I ran the practicum lab for CVPM. I started class by telling them simply they have around 5 minutes to find the speeds of the two cars in front of them (I made sure they each had one car with normal speed and one with an aluminum foil slug in place of one batter so it is slow). Then they put the cars back on the front table. Then I showed them the corridor, made with two 2.2 meter pasco tracks, between which I had laid a tape measure such that zero was on the edge of the table (so a car can’t start with the front at zero), and a marked crash site. They had to figure out how to get the cars to crash at the crash site, with the only rule being that they start outside the corridor. I told them the positions of the start and end of the corridor as well as the crash site and the endpoints. A few groups realized they could simply let the carts go at different times, probably the easiest (but clever) way to solve the problem.
The cleverest thing I saw however is what is represented above for finding the speed of the cart. One group put tape on the car, trailing along, and then made a mark on the tape every second as it pulled the tape along. Very cool considering I didn’t explore anything like that with them!
Have improvements to my procedures? Let me know!