Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Crash Lesson

Figure from experiment 38 from Physical Science with Vernier


Have you ever watched a giant crane swing a huge metal ball and tear down a building? Or hammered a nail into a piece of wood? What is it that allows you to do that? What is that “thing” that allows you to get things done?

In this experiment you will investigate how the speed of an object affects its ability to “get things done.” In particular you will study how speed affects the distance a cart can push a 3-ring notebook across a surface.

In order to change the speed you will need to vary the height that you release the cart up a track, similar to what you explored in Experiment 36, “Speeding Up.”


  • Use a Motion Detector to measure speed.
  • Graph data.
  • Make conclusions about how speed affects the ability to "do things."

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Additional Requirements

You may also need an interface and software for data collection. What do I need for data collection?

Standards Correlations

See all standards correlations for Physical Science with Vernier »

Physical Science with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Temperature Probe Response Time
2Boiling Temperature of Water
3Freezing and Melting of Water
4Evaporation of Alcohols
5Endothermic and Exothermic Reactions
6Neutralization Reactions
7Mixing Warm and Cold Water
8Heat of Fusion
9Energy Content of Fuels
10Energy Content of Foods
11Absorption of Radiant Energy
12An Insulated Cola Bottle
13A Good Sock
14Insolation Angle
15Solar Homes and Heat Sinks
16Conducting Solutions
17Conductivity of Saltwater: The Effect of Concentration
18Acid Strengths
19Frictional Forces
20First-Class Levers
22An Inclined Plane
23Reflectivity of Light
24Polarizing Light
25How Bright is the Light?
26Electromagnets: Winding Things Up
27Magnetic Field Explorations
28Household Acids and Bases
29Acid Rain
30Gas Pressure and Volume
31Gas Temperature and Pressure
32Fun with Pressure
33Lemon "Juice"
34Simple Circuits
35Graphing Your Motion
36Speeding Up
37It's Race Day
38Crash Lesson
39Newton's Second Law
40Falling Objects

Experiment 38 from Physical Science with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Physical Science with Vernier</i> book cover

Included in the Lab Book

Vernier lab books include word-processing files of the student instructions, essential teacher information, suggested answers, sample data and graphs, and more.

Buy the Book

Dev Reference: VST0278

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