Speed, acceleration, and distance plots from a racecar speedometer (0300 km h^{1})
Abstract
A spreadsheet plotting assignment of reallife data from a racecar is employed to help students master the relationships among speed, acceleration, and distance. The racecar application will capture the imagination and interest of the student. The data is obtained by reading speedometer values from a YouTube video for 40 s as a racecar accelerates from rest to 300 km h^{1}. A spreadsheet is then used to plot the speed in m s^{1} against time. Dimensional analysis guides the student to realize the acceleration as the slope of the velocity plot. Units further direct students to understand that the area under the velocity graph gives the distance traveled. Though this activity is in kinematics, which can be assigned at the secondary school level, students learn about the fundamental concepts of the derived slope function (differential calculus) and area under a graph (integral calculus).
 Publication:

Physics Education
 Pub Date:
 September 2021
 DOI:
 10.1088/13616552/ac1529
 Bibcode:
 2021PhyEd..56e5035R
 Keywords:

 kinematics;
 spreadsheets;
 velocity;
 acceleration;
 racecar;
 NASCAR;
 YouTube