The Stopping Distance Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom. This Interactive does not display as nicely on all phones and we do not recommend its use on many phones.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive can be used at nearly any stage of a learning cycle on work and energy. The emphasis of the activity is on the use of scientific reasoning to answer a question. Since an understanding of the work-energy relationship would provide a strong sense of what the answer is to the question, it is best that this Interactive be used before the development or in the early stages of the development of the work-energy relationship. An activity sheet accompanies this Interactive and is highly recommended for those instructors who wish to use the activity as a strong exercise in scientific reasoning. Of course, beyond the reasoning associated with this exercise, the Interactive provides a great pre-cursor to the application of the work-energy theorem (W = ∆KE) to stopping distances of cars. The stopping distance is part of the work term in the equation; the speed is part of the kinetic energy term in the equation. Expanding the W = ∆KE equation to include F•d and 0.5•m•v2 will help learners to understand the relationship discovered in the Interactive.

Our Stopping Distance simulation is now available with a Concept Checker. Do the simulation. Then follow it up with the Concept Checker.

Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Stopping Distance Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments WE3, WE5, WE9, and WE10 of the Work and Energy module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Work-Energy Relationships

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. Four notable lab ideas include ...

    Marble Energy Lab
    Marble Energy II Lab
    Work-Kinetic Energy Lab
    Stopping Distance Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.
  • Science Reasoning Activities:
    Science classrooms should be filled with reasoning activities. There is one very related activity in the Work and Energy section of the Science Reasoning Center that will challenge students to employ close reading, data analysis, and logical reasoning. The activity is named ...

    Hot Wheels Stopping Distance

    Visit the Science Reasoning Center.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Stopping Distance into an instructional unit on work and energy can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.

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