The stopping distance of a vehicle is made up of distance travelled while a driver reacts and begins to brake, and then the braking distance as the vehicle comes to a stop. A common reaction time for most drivers is around 1.2 seconds before the brakes are applied, however this can vary according to factors such as driving conditions.
In this lesson, students investigate how speed, friction and reaction times influence vehicle stopping distances, and test reaction times by catching a falling ruler.
This lesson supports:
- With guidance, pose questions to clarify practical problems or inform a scientific investigation, and predict what the findings of an investigation might be based on previous experiences or general rules (VCSIS082)
- Decide which variables should be changed, measured and controlled in fair tests and accurately observe, measure and record data (VCSIS084)
- Construct and use a range of representations, including tables and graphs, to record, represent and describe observations, patterns or relationships in data (VCSIS085)
- Compare data with predictions and use as evidence in developing explanations (VCSIS086)
- Communicate ideas and processes using evidence to develop explanations of events and phenomena and to identify simple cause-and-effect relationships (VCSIS088)
Download the lesson plan in the link above.