Wagon Process

How to Conduct the Covered Wagon Experiment Process

You should have followed the task directions found in the Covered Wagon page. 
Now it is time for you to start the experiment.  You will need a pencil and 
paper to document the results!

Step 1:
Place empty "wagon" on the ramp and begin tying washers to the pull string.  
Count carefully.  The car needs to travel 10 cm up the ramp.  Document, or 
write down, how many washers it took to move the empty "wagon".  Using a data 
table will make it easier for you.

Step 2:
Repeat ten times then average the results of the empty "wagon".  This is how 
you average.  Add up all of the number of the washer results then divide by 
ten (short cut is to move the decimal over one place value to the left after 
you have the trial sum)

Step 3:
Next, you will repeat the process ten times EXCEPT this time you have placed 
20 gram weights or 15 pennies in the "wagon".  Your job is to compare the 
difference between a zero load (or empty "wagon") with the results of the 
force needed  to move a "wagon" with a 20 gram load.

Step 4
Average the force results of moving the 20 gram load "wagon"

Step 5
Write statement about the results.  Was there a difference in the force 
required to move an empty "wagon" v.s. moving a 20 gram load "wagon"?  
Explain why or why not.

Step 6
Go on-line and look up more information about gravity, motion, and physics so 
you can write who could use your result statements, when they would use them, 
and why they would use them.

Learn more about physics at the Little Shop of Physics.

Science experiments are fun!  Explore the Exploratorium.

Graph Your Results

Make a bar graph comparing the empty and the 20 gram "wagon" averages.
*** Hint! The washer results are the x axis. Empty and 20 gram wagons are the 
y axis.**

Make two line graphs showing the ten trail results of the empty "wagon" and 
another showing the ten trail results of the 20 gram "wagon". 
*** Hint! The washer number is the x axis and trials 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 are 
the y axis.***