Student Exploration: Sled Wars
Vocabulary: acceleration, energy, friction, kinetic energy, momentum, potential energy, speed
Prior Knowledge Questions (Do these BEFORE using the Gizmo.)
A firefighter is trying to break through a door. Is he more likely to break through if he runs at the door very slowly or if he runs at the door very fast? Explain your answer.
Two firefighters are trying to break through a door. One firefighter is heavy, and the other is light. If they run at the same speed, which one is more likely to break through? Explain.
The ability to crash through doors and cause other changes depends on an object’s energy. With the Sled Wars Gizmo™, you will explore the factors that affect the energy of a sled.
The Gizmo shows a Yeti named Burt riding his sled down a steep hill. Burt plays a game where he tries to wreck as many snowmen as he can.
Use the slider to set the Snowmen to 5. Check that the height of the sled is 25.0 m. Click Play (). How many snowmen does the sled destroy?
Click Reset (). Set the Red sled mass to 200 kg. Click Play. How many snowmen does the sled destroy this time?
Click Reset. Drag the sled to the top of the hill so the starting height is 50.0 m. Click Play.
How many snowmen are destroyed now?
Why do you think this is so?
Acceleration and speed
Get the Gizmo ready:
Click Reset. Check that One sled is selected.
Set the Red sled mass to 100 kg.
Set the Number of snowmen to 0.
Check that the height of the sled is 50.0 m.
Introduction: Speed is a measure of how fast an object is moving. It is defined as distance moved per unit of time. In this Gizmo, the units of speed are meters per second, or m/s.