
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)
Distance
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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