Runaway Train

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In this activity from the Nuffield Foundation, students carry out an experiment to collect data about a trolley rolling down a slope. They then use this data to simulate the motion of a train by fitting a quadratic curve to their data, using a graphic calculator or spreadsheet. The slideshow provides an introduction to the activity and highlights the modelling cycle, which is the main emphasis of this resource. Students who undertake the extension work may use kinematics or dynamics to determine the velocity of the trolley.

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