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A Study of a Sail Cart Confined to a Track: Acceleration as a Function of Sail Angle

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Submitted by Rich on Sun, 11/26/2017 - 19:57

This lesson is motivated by an article by Paul G. Hewitt entitled “Sailing into the Wind: A Vector Explanation”, appearing in the Summer 2017 edition of NSTA’s The Science Teacher. Why not put a sail on a Teacher Geek® cart powered by wind from a fan and confined to move along a track? Then have the students quantitatively investigate the functional relationship between the acceleration of the cart and the angle of the sail, both in theory and empirically from data collected from the PocketLab VelocityLab app.

Sail Cart
Grade Level