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Rindeth

Science: Car Collision Lab Report

My group will be investigating how the changing of speed affects the impact force
of the moving vehicle. Speed is a major factor in a collision. The result of a crash
depends on how fast the vehicle was travelling. Force of impact is the force
generated when objects meet, as the faster you drive, the greater the impact of
your vehicle
Variables

Justification

Independent Variable

Height of ramp (cm)

Dependent Variable

Depth of the plasticine


poke by the chopstick
which was attached to
the moving ramp (cm)

Controlled Variable

Distance (cm)

Controlled Variable

Mass of car (kg)

I chose this to be my
independent variable because
when I change the heights of
the ramp, the speed of the car
will also be changed when it is
rolling down because the
books that the ramp rests on
will make the ramp higher
I chose this to be my
dependent variable because I
can measure how strong the
impact force was by measuring
the depth of penetration to the
plasticine by the moving car
I will not change the distance
the car will be able to travel, it
will only stay 152cm so it could
be a fair test when the car
collides into the plasticine.
The mass of the car will stay
the same to avoid extra
changing of the travelling
speeds (1.95kg)

Controlled Variable

Surface of Ramp

The surface of the ramp has to


be the same in each of the
experiment so it wont affect or
hider the speed of the car. E.g.
Bumpy surface, slippery/oily
surface

Hypothesis: I think that the higher the ramp is, the stronger the amount of impact
force will be. The chopstick will make a deeper hole in the plasticine. And the
lower the ramp is, the lesser the amount of impact force will be because the
higher the altitude, the stronger the force of gravity which will be pulling the car
down- in this case, rolling down a ramp.

Rindeth

Science: Car Collision Lab Report

Apparatus:
-1 flat wooden block,
- 1 toy car,
- a few books of the same thicknesses,
- A meter rule
- 1 square block of plasticine (15cmx15cmx3cm)
- a chopstick
- a marker
- a whiteboard
How to control controlled variables: use the same block of wood for the ramp,
use the same exact toy car, the same type of surface the car is run on, the same
type of plasticine the car will be collided with
Procedure:
- Put the wooden ramp on top of some books (measured height) in front of
a free smooth surface for travelling of the car.
- Strongly tape a chopstick to the bottom of the car in a way that the top of
the chopstick sticks out in front of the car.
- Put a block of plasticine in front of the bottom of the ramp.
- Put the car on top of the ramp and let it go down without pushing (as this
will alter the size of the force)
- There will be a hole inside the plasticine caused by the chopstick that was
attached to the car poking out.
- Take a marker and mark the point the chopstick went in the plasticine.
- Measure it with a ruler and note it down in a notebook or on a whiteboard.
- Adjust the height of the ramp to a taller height by adding more and more
books.
- Continue the process of letting the car fall at different heights and
measuring them.
- Record them all in a data table below.

Rindeth

Science: Car Collision Lab Report

Ramp length: 152 cm


Book Thickness: 3.5cm/book
Data Table:
IV: Height of
Ramp (cm)

DV: Depth of Chopstick in Plasticine (cm)

3.5

1st Try
0.4

2nd Try
0.5

3rd Try
0.3

Average
0.4

7.0

1.0

1.0

1.1

1.0

10.5

1.8

1.2

1.6

14.0

1.8

1.8

1.5

1.7

17.5

2.4

2.5

2.5

2.4

Conclusion: The graph above shows that the higher the height of the ramp is
(where we let the car roll down) the deeper the depth of the plasticine made by

Rindeth

Science: Car Collision Lab Report

the chopstick is. This is due to the force of gravity acting on the speed of the car
as the altitude increases. The higher the altitude, the stronger the force of gravity
will act on the car.
My hypothesis is that the higher the height of where the car is being placed, the
stronger the force of gravity will be which will increase the speed of the car when
rolling down which will make a deeper hole in the plasticine. My graph does
support my hypothesis as the heights of the ramp increased (x-axis which the
points go from left to right), the depth of the plasticine made by the chopstick also
increased (y-axis which the points go from bottom to top to show the increasing
depth of the plasticine). My data points were very close to the trend line and it
shows a positive correlation between the height of the ramp and the depth of the
plasticine made. All data points followed the trend. The minimum range is in a
small size as the height of the ramp wasnt that high. The maximum range is in a
bigger size, as the height of the ramp was relatively high too compared to the
shorter heights.
The results did show that all of the data did agree with my hypothesis as it was
shown in the tables and graphs above.
Improvements:
Issue

Impact

Improvement

Depth of plasticine made


by the chopstick was not
marked very accurately
because a whiteboard
marker with a large tip
was used
Confusing results when
measuring the lengths on
the chopstick because
the marked points
werent erased
The plasticine was too
hard

This made slight changes


in the data and it did not
make the data much
accurate

Use a smaller-tip marker


to mark all the data
instead of a white board
marker

This caused confusion


between the data and
could lead to misleading
information

Erase all the drawn


marks on the plastic
chopstick after being
measured and recorded
to prevent any confusion
Use a softer type of
plasticine so this wont
cause any hindrance to
the rolling car

The thickness of the


plasticine was only 3cm
(too thin)

This made it harder for


the chopstick to poke into
the plasticine and it
changes the force of
impact and the depth of
the plasticine
Sometimes, the
chopstick might poke
even further into the
plasticine than 3cm so
the this means that the

Increase the thickness of


the plasticine to thicker
depth (preferably 15cm
for extra space and ease
to measure)

Rindeth

Science: Car Collision Lab Report

The length of the pokingout chopstick that was


attached to the bottom of
the car was too short
(5cm long)

The length of the ramp


was too short (152cm)

maximum depth of the


plasticine the car will be
able to poke through will
only be 3cm
Sometimes, the car could
have a stronger impact
for which should make
the chopstick poke even
deeper into the plasticine
but since the chopstick is
too short, we wont be
able to see the full length
the chopstick could poke
into the plasticine in this
experiment
This doesnt give enough
time for the car to travel
in a normal and constant
speed as it is too short
which made the car
travel too quickly

Increase the length of the


chopstick from 5cm to
preferable 10cm

Increase the length of the


ramp (preferably to
300cm)- this also needs
a larger area to place the
ramp and do the
experiment.

Extensions: For next time, I could do each experiment in 5 tries instead of 3 tries.

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