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Speed of Mini HotRod: Long Track Challenge

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Submitted by Rich on Sun, 12/16/2018 - 21:10


Would you like to engage your entire science class as a group in a challenge?  If so, then the "Speed of Mini HotRod: Long Track Challenge" may serve that purpose well!

Here is the basic setup.  21 pieces of 11.75" HotWheels track are connected end-to-end to form  a very long track, as shown in the diagram of Figure 1.  This track could be set up on the lab floor or on several movable lab tables that have been placed end-to-end.  The three left-most pieces of track form a ramp from which a PocketLab Mini HotRod with Voyager is released from rest (see Figure 2).  The height of the ramp is adjusted so that the HotRod will make it close to the end of the remaining 18 level pieces of track before coming to a rest.  Velcro strips hold the top of the ramp in place.

Challenge Setup for finding the speed of the Mini HotRod
Figure 1 -- Long Track Challenge Setup
Ramp for the Long Track Speed Challenge
Figure 2 -- Ramp for the Long Track Challenge

The Speed Challenge

Determine the average speed of the Mini HotRod/Voyager in each of the five regions labeled with the letters A through E in Figure 1.

Challenge Rules

  1. The only Voyager sensor that is allowed is the Rangefinder (and NOT Rangefinder Velocity).
  2. No rulers or any other measuring devices may be used.
  3. All raw data for determining the average velocities in regions A through E must be obtained in a single release of the Mini HotRod/Voyager from the top of the ramp.
  4. Students may not make use of the known fact that the length of each piece of HotWheels track is 11.75".

Good luck and have fun!

Setup for the Speed of Mini HotRod: Long Track Challenge