Speeding Lab (Period 4/5 Only)


The speed limit on Cooper Road in front of the high school is 35 mph (15.6 m/s, or 56.3 km/hr).  As part of an Irondequoit Police Department safety project, your team has been asked to gather data about the speeds of cars driving down Cooper Road.

You will be broken up into groups of 5 students and provided stopwatches and a tape measure.  Each group will then be given 10 minutes to plan their strategy before heading outside to set up.  Once outside, you will be given 10 minutes to implement your measuring strategy and perform any "practice runs" you find necessary.  After that time, the project coordinator (aka instructor) will signal your group to begin. 

When the signal is given, your group is to measure the speed of the next 10 vehicles driving north on Cooper Road.  Each vehicle’s description should be recorded (blue van, license plate #, etc.) as well as data that will allow you to obtain at least two measurements of the vehicle’s speed.

Following data acquisition, teams will return to the classroom to analyze their data and create a professional one-page report for the police commissioner.

Reports should include:
1) An introductory paragraph describing the problem and project.
2) A detailed step-by-step procedure explaining what your group did, with enough detail that a knowledgeable person could repeat your work and obtain similar results.
3) A table detailing each vehicle’s description and its average speed.
4) A calculation showing the average speed of all 10 vehicles.
5) A graph showing each vehicle’s speed compared to the speed limit (choose most appropriate graph to convey information efficiently).
6) A conclusion (two paragraphs).  The first paragraph should summarize your results and include recommendations for improving your work if you were to engage in a more detailed analysis.  This paragraph should compare your group’s results to the results obtained by the instructor using the radar gun.  Discuss any discrepancies.  The second paragraph should answer the question "is there a speeding problem on Cooper Road."  Support this topic sentence with two or three supporting sentences, and a concluding sentence.

Post your report on the APlusPhysics.com forums in the section labeled "Lab Meetings."  Print out a copy of your report (printer 3033), write everyone’s name on the top, and place in the INBOX.