Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Crash Lesson

Figure from experiment 38 from Physical Science with Vernier


Have you ever watched a giant crane swing a huge metal ball and tear down a building? Or hammered a nail into a piece of wood? What is it that allows you to do that? What is that “thing” that allows you to get things done?

In this experiment you will investigate how the speed of an object affects its ability to “get things done.” In particular you will study how speed affects the distance a cart can push a 3-ring notebook across a surface.

In order to change the speed you will need to vary the height that you release the cart up a track, similar to what you explored in Experiment 36, “Speeding Up.”


  • Use a Motion Detector to measure speed.
  • Graph data.
  • Make conclusions about how speed affects the ability to "do things."

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Experiment 38 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physical Science with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

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