Teacher Notes

This activity was designed as a guided inquiry activity for Regents Physics students in groups of three.

Prior to beginning this activity, students should be proficient in application of basic one-dimensional kinematic equations, as well as basic metric conversions.  It is expected that this entire activity can be completed in the space of four class periods.

Although a full computer lab is recommended, this activity may be undertaken with one computer per group (with students in groups fulfilling the individual roles).  This activity can be easily modified for more advanced classes by removing a given item or two, requiring the students to work through simultaneous equations using both conservation of linear momentum and the definition of a specific type of collision involving kinetic energy.


Related Curriculum Standards

  1. Using the relationships of velocity, acceleration and displacement, students will describe different forms of motion quantitatively, qualitatively, and graphically.
  2. Students will explain how to calculate the change in an object's momentum.
  3. Students will prove the Law of Conservation of Momentum.