Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Making Cents of Math: Linear Relationship between Weight and Quantity

Figure from experiment 2 from Real-World Math with Vernier


The slope of a line describes its steepness. The numerical value of the slope can represent a number of other important mathematical concepts. Given any two points on a line, (x1, y1) and (x2, y2), the slope of that line can be computed using the formula:

Cannot create image: m = \frac{{{y_2} - {y_1}}}  {{{x_2} - {x_1}}}

where m represents the slope of the line, x1 and x2 represent the independent variable coordinates, and y1 and y2 represent the dependent variable coordinates.

In this activity you will use a Force Sensor to collect a linear set of data points. Specifically, you will measure the weight of 8, 16, 24… pennies. You will then analyze this data and interpret the meaning of the slope as it relates to the independent and dependent variables. A model will help you predict future measurements and interpret past results.


  • Collect weight versus number data for a collection of identical pennies.
  • Model the weight versus number data using a linear equation.
  • Interpret the slope and intercept values from the linear model.

Sensors and Equipment

This activity features the following Vernier sensors and equipment.

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 Real-World Math with Vernier »

Real-World Math with Vernier

See other experiments from the lab book.

1Walk the Line - Straight Line Distance Graphs
2Making Cents of Math: Linear Relationship between Weight and Quantity
3Pool Plunge - Linear Relationship between Water Depth and Pressure
4Funnel Volumes - Volume and Weight
5Keep It Bottled Up - Rates of Pressure Increase
6Mix It Up - Mixing Liquids of Different Temperatures
7Spring Thing - Newton's Second Law
8Stretch It to the Limit - The Linear Force Relation for a Rubber Band
9What Goes Up - Position and Time for a Cart on a Ramp
10That's the Way the Ball Bounces - Height and Time for a Bouncing Ball
11Walk This Way - Definition of Rate
12Velocity Test - Interpreting Graphs
13From Here to There - Applications of the Distance Formula
14Under Pressure - The Inverse Relationship between Pressure and Volume
15Light at A Distance - Distance and Intensity
16Chill Out: How Hot Objects Cool
17Charging Up, Charging Down - Charging a Capacitor
18Bounce Back - The Pattern of Rebound Heights
19Sour Chemistry - The Exponential pH Change
20Swinging Ellipses - Plotting an Ellipse
21Lights Out! - Periodic Phenomena
22Tic, Toc: Pendulum Motion
23Stay Tuned: Sound Waveform Models
24Up And Down: Damped Harmonic Motion
25How Tall? Describing Data with Statistical Plots
26And Now, the Weather - Describing Data with Statistics
27Meet You at the Intersection: Solving a System of Linear Equations
28Titration Curves: An Application of the Logistic Function
29Clock Design: Period and Length of a Simple Pendulum
30Graph It in Pieces: Piecewise Defined Functions
31Stepping to the Greatest Integer: The Greatest Integer Function
32Crawling Around: Parametric Plots

Activity 2 from Real-World Math with Vernier Lab Book

<i>Real-World Math 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: VST0321

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