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Physics 300

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Teacher's Notes


Construct a car out of the given material that will be the first to reach 300cm. Using the motion detector, LoggerPRO®, and the TI-83® to gather and analyze data.


  1. The car will be launched from an incline plane. The optimum height of the incline and mass of the car will be determined by the design team.
  2. The car can only be made from the materials provided, no additional materials can be used.
  3. The appearance of the car will not be judged, but the design team should give consideration to the design elements that will affect the car’s ability to travel in a straight line.
  4. Each car should be put through performance tests at various angles and using different masses to determine the optimum angle and mass. These tests should use LoggerPRO® or the TI-83® and the motion detector. to collect the data. An analysis of the car's design and velocity will be required to be turned in at the time of the race. The items that are needed in the analyis are discussed in the assessment section below.
  5. Each car should include a flat surface toward the rear of the vehicle to be used as the reflection plane for the motion detector.


3”x 5” index cards

plastic bottle tops

bamboo skewers

popsicle sticks

drinking straws


hot glue

10 g masses



Students will keep a record of the design process during the creation and refinement of the car. The design record should include the following:

View a sample design record.
Written by Todd Mickley. Download the Word® document for your use.

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