Create a stop motion animation video showing a race between an object moving at a constant velocity of _____ and an object starting from rest and accelerating at a constant acceleration of _____.
To do this, we needed to work on selecting proper kinematic equations, rearranging for an unknown, and utilizing spreadsheets to run repeat calculations.
To stage this race, I wanted a couple of sets of values so that different groups would get different results so that everyone would need to run the numbers for themselves. I also wanted to provide values that would cross at some point in the video so that I would have a way to check their work and we would have an event to connect several different representations of this motion.
To complete this task, students need to be familiar with the equations for constant velocity and constant acceleration. Truly, they only need one of each but I think identifying the proper equation from a list of options is an important skill in itself :)
The stop motion video that I ask for must depict the race from three different perspectives: top view, side view, and front view. These videos may be captured at separate times but must be compiled to create one video file playing either one after the other or together in “split screen” format.
In order to present a smooth motion, groups are instructed to set the stop motion video to capture at 10 fps (frames per second). This means that the time between images will be 0.1 seconds.
The video must continue until one of the racers finishes the race so each of the challenges will finish at different time intervals. If desired, the winner can be animated with a little celebration dance while the other racer finished.
To complete this task, students found success using stop motion apps on their iPads or smart phones. One easy to use app that made the task easier was Stop Motion Studio
In order to ensure that the positioning of the racers correctly depicts the assigned motion, the position from the starting line (displacement) must be calculated for each object at each time interval. This could be done by hand but performing a calculation many times in a row is an ideal task for a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel.
To best present the data, it is recommended to create a single table with the time (in 0.1 second increments) and object positions calculated for each row. Once the data has been completed, it should be used to create a scatterplot showing the motion of racers in a motion graph similar to the one shown here
I provide students with a printed track that has two lanes with labels every centimeter and increments for ever millimeter. When printing, set the printer to print out the file at "actual size" or the increments won't line up with a ruler.
Final video submission must contain the following:
Here are some examples from my classes:
The project was scored out of 16 points according to the following rubric:
This Task on Social Media
My class first tried out a version of this task last year as a sort of proof of concept, and it was amazing to see the response that the received on Twitter.
What was really cool for me was seeing how others took this concept and expanded it. In response to my original tweet, there were examples of 2D motion visualized this way and even a feature written up in a Dutch science teacher magazine!!
Other Kinematics and Motion Activities
Check out some other lessons and activities that I've used to practice kinematics and motion
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