- #1

Carolina Girl

- 4

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Scenario is a car rolled down a hill and knocked over a big rock statue. I want students to both model the crash and use some math to calculate how heavy a car would have to be to knock over the statue due to acceleartion caused by gravity alone. (I'm using a car and weight set for the model of the vehicle)

I started off thinking this would be a simple F=ma type formula, and students would calculate a=g sinθ so that students would see that the mass didn't affect the acceleration, but only the force with which the car would hit the "statue" (for the model it is a piece of 2x4).

I realize now it can't be that simple since those 2 formulas in no way take into account how far along the incline the car had to have traveled prior to striking the barracade, and therefore the speed at which the vehicle was traveling when it hit the barricade.

HELP!

Thanks in advance.