20.2 Walking through graphs

This activity is from the Sourcebook for Teaching Science.

Football coaches develop plays based upon the strength and talents of their players and opponents. A playbook includes many diagrams such as illustrated in figure 20.6. Each circle represents a player, each diamond an opponent, and each line a planned movement. Team members must memorize many such diagrams so they can quickly assemble the correct formation when the quarterback calls for a play. In a similar manner, choreographers develop diagrams to show dancers how to move, and marching band directors develop maps to show how half-time shows will be performed. Although a football player, dancer, or drum major may comprehend such diagrams, they do not fully understand them until they have put them into action. In a similar manner, it is difficult to fully understand a scientific graph until you have done the activity it represents. In this section you will learn motion graphs by doing the motions they represent.

  • Perform these activities using motion probeware. Label each graph and upload to Dropbox.

Activity 20.2.1 – Walking through motion graphs

(a) The instructor will select graphs for you to demonstrate by walking (figure 20.7). Examine the graph carefully, noting the axes and defining your zero point before beginning. Classmates should evaluate your movement to see if it correctly reflects the graph. If available, use a motion detector and associated probeware to compare your movement with the graph (see chapter 22).

(b) Replicate each of these graphs using the motion sensor and graphing software.