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Experiment
Racing
Down Ramps


Problem: Do lighter or heavier
cars (or balls) go farther when rolled down the same ramp?
Research: Look up information
about ramps and momentum.
Hypothesis: Predict whether
the lighter or heavier car will roll farther.
I think that the ___________________ car
will roll farther.
Setting Up the Experiment:
Materials:

three Hot Wheels or Matchbox toy cars (or
three balls that are different weights, example: one steel ball berring,
one rubber ball, one ping pong ball)

2 books or a book and a board

metal washers or hex nuts

metric measuring tape or meter stick

chart to record your results
Procedure:
Manipulated Variable: Weight of
the cars or the balls (This is the only thing you can change.)
Responding Variable: The distance
in centimeters that the cars roll. (these are the results that you
will measure and record.)
Steps:

Prepare the toy cars:

Do not put anything on the first car.

Tape 2 or 3 hex nuts or washers on the second
car

Tape 4  6 hex nuts or washers on the third
car (This is the heaviest car.)

Create a ramp by leaning one book or board
on the edge of another book.

Place the meter stick or measuring tape at
the edge of the ramp where the car will exit and begin rolling on the floor
or table top.

Place the first car at the top of the ramp
and let it go. Do not push the car just let go and let it roll
by itself. Measure the distance the car rolled in centimeters after leaving
the ramp.

Do three trials for each car and record the
distance in cm each time.

Figure out the "eyeball average" for each
car. This means that you look at each of the three trials and pick the
number that is in the middle not the highest, not the lowest. For example,
if the distances are 80 cm., 72 cm, and 85 cm., the "eyeball average" would
be 80 cm.
Results:
Make a chart like this to record your
results. Then you can graph the averages on a bar graph.

Distance Rolled in
cm

Trial

Light Car

MiddleWeight Car

Heaviest Car

1

cm

cm

cm

2

cm

cm

cm

3

cm

cm

cm

"Eyeball Average" 
cm

cm

cm

Conclusion:
Look over your results. What did you find
out? Which car (or ball) rolled the farthest? Does the weight of the car
make a difference? Write your conclusion and answer the problem. Tell if
your hypothesis was correct or incorrect.