As the Crow Flies

Materials: Car w/odometer and liscenced driver

Time Allotment: 3 Class Days

We have recently learned the process of adding displacement vectors in order to determine the resultant displacement from a starting location to a final destination. In this activity you will express your understanding of this process by measuring the resulting displacement from a starting location (such as your home) to a final destination (such as the school or grocery store or a friend's house). Be sure that your selection of starting location and final destination meets the criterion below. To accomplish this task, begin by picking the starting location and the final destination. Drive (safely) from the starting location towards the destination and determine the displacement along each leg of the trip. Use the odometer of your car to determine the magnitude of the displacement (to the nearest one-tenth of a mile) along each leg. If the direction of each leg is not north, south, east, or west, then estimate the direction (e.g., 30 degrees west of north). The magnitude and direction of the displacement along each leg of the trip can be recorded in the space below. Once you have collected the data, use the back of this sheet to complete an accurately-drawn scaled vector diagram in order to determine the resultant displacement. Finally, write a short paragraph in the space below in which you describe the process of vector addition and explain how it is able to provide you with the "as the crow flies" displacement from a starting location to a final destination.

Magnitude (mi)

Direction (degrees)

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Criteria:

 

Description/Explanation:

Use the back of this page or a separate sheet if necessary.


 


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This page created by Tom Henderson and last updated on 9/26/97.