Lesson 3
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Mr. Fizzix Physics


Feb. 28, 2001


Joanne Pirog

                                               Lesson Plan III Trebuchet Project


Activity lab period to determine the velocity (speed) of the launched pennies


On the day after our catapult competition, we used each student's recorded data to figure out the velocity of their launched pennies during their flight. This velocity was calculated *in feet per second. We used the formula


Velocity = Distance in feet traveled/ time in seconds to land x Cosine of the angle of release (theta)   



                      velocity =        ---------------------------------

                                             time x cosine theta


An example l: Jessica's penny traveled for 25 feet. It took 1.5 seconds to land and we estimated the angle of release made by the arm was 50 degrees.


Her velocity = 25/ (1.5) x cosine of 50 degrees angle (theta)



V = 25/ (1.5) (.6428) V= 26 feet per second According to our data) we found out that the fastest pennies did not necessarily travel the farthest. The distance really depended on the angle of release of the penny at moment of launch. The best angle of release for maximum distance is a 45 degree angle


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Last updated: November 13, 2002.