INVESTIGATIVE QUESTION: To Be Determined (By you and your group) but it MUST include acceleration data


We measure acceleration in much the same way that we measure velocity. That is to say that velocity is a measure of the change of an object's displacement over time and acceleration is a measure of the change of velocity over time.

Recall that average velocity is measured:

(D2 - D1)/(T2 - T1)

  • where D stands for Displacement and T stands for Time

We measure average acceleration in a very similar way:

(V2 - V1)/(T2 - T1)

  • where V stands for Velocity and T stands for Time



The purpose of this lab is to collect data to determine the average acceleration of vehicles starting from rest at the stoplight in front of Gig Harbor High School as amended by your group.

That is by way of saying you MUST tie that acceleration into some other factor (a simple factor would be by gender of driver. Since I just suggested that, you can't use gender <sorry>).


I have two radar guns that give instantaneous velocity.

Please keep in mind I only have two radar guns.

We have 6 or 7 groups per class.

That means the two groups that come up with the MOST original/interesting/provocative labs (as determined by your MG&HPI) will get the opportunity to use those radar guns. Other groups will have to come up with some other method of calculating displacement, velocity & acceleration.

STEP #1: Work with your group to develop some sort of interesting, provocative or otherwise illustrative lab that centers on the measured acceleration of vehicles away from the stoplight on Rosedale (in front of GHHS).

You have wide latitude on this. The more your lab moves away from predictable and boring, the more interested your MG&HPI will be.

STEP #2: Determine a method for determining displacement, velocity and acceleration using meter sticks, chalk and stop watches or some other method. This will be your fallback method in case your group is NOT selected to use radar guns.

STEP #3: Detective Mike Allen from the Gig Harbor PD will join us tomorrow to instruct us on proper use of radar guns. Please be prepared with questions, comments and concerns

Our Lab Rubric is HERE

Example Lab Report is HERE

How to write an ABSTRACT is HERE