How far can a mouse and his motorcycle really go? Amanda Booth EDU 374

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How far can a mouse and his motorcycle really go? Amanda Booth EDU 374 http://barrygoldberg.net/worth111.htm

Ralph S. Mouse by Beverly Cleary Ralph S. Mouse loves to ride his motorcycle in the hotel he lives in. His muddy motorcycle gets him in trouble and Ralph begs his friend Ryan to take him to school. He wants to ride on the smooth linoleum floor but Ryan refuses to give Ralph his motorcycle until he finishes a maze at the school. Ralph gets more mad after one of Ryan’s classmates breaks the motorcycle. Ralph shows the class just how smart he is and ends up with a car more spectacular then he ever imagined!

Questions about the story What was the warmest place for Ralph to sleep? What surface would Ralph’s motorcycle drive best on? What material would best fix Ralph’s motorcycle? What material would be easiest for a mouse to chew through?

Key Question: Which Surface would Ralph’s motorcycle go the furthest on?

Friction Friction is a force that opposes motion, or makes it difficult for an object to move across a surface. The amount of friction depends on the surface type and the force pressing the two surfaces together. I want to find out which surface will provide the least amount of friction for a matchbox car.

Hypothesis I believe that the vinyl flooring will provide the least amount of friction allowing the car to go the furthest. I think that the grass will create the most friction and the car will go the shortest distance.

Materials A toy car (matchbox car) A wooden board and books or something to make a ramp with A yardstick Five different surfaces (wood floor, vinyl floor, carpet, gravel, grass)

Procedure First, I set a wooden board on a toy car case so it created a ramp and marked where the board met the case so that the tilt of the ramp would be the same each time.

After setting the ramp up on the wood floor, I placed a car so that its back wheels were at the back edge of the wooden board and let go. Then, I measured the distance from where the board met the floor to the back end of the car. I recorded the distance in inches on a chart.

After I did a second trial on the wood floor, I repeated the experiment for each of the other surfaces. Once all of the trials were done, I made a graph of all of the trials and drew some conclusions.

Data Wood FloorCarpetVinyl FloorGravelGrass Number of inches for trial #1 103.51213680.5 Number of inches for trial #2 9711.5133.5111 Average 100.2511.75134.759.5.75

Graph

Conclusions My hypotheses was correct that the car went the furthest on the vinyl and the shortest distance on the grass. The car created the least amount of friction when it traveled on the vinyl and the most friction when in traveled on the grass. Each surface had some texture to it but the vinyl floor had the least, allowing the car to go farther.

The grass was the least level surface and probably contributed to the short distance the car traveled. If the grass was cut shorter and was more level, the car would have gone further. The rocks in the gravel created less friction than the grass but still slowed the car down. The wood floor was close for having the least friction. The slats of the wood floor created more friction than the little bumps of the vinyl floor. Since the nap of the carpet I used was fairly short, the car was not slowed down as much as it would have been with shag carpeting.

Ralph should definitely stick to riding his motorcycle on smooth flooring indoors.

References 1.Cleary, Beverly. (1982). Ralph S. Mouse. New York: Scholastic Inc. 2.Discovery Education. (2006). Friction in Our Lives. Retrieved April 7, 2007 from the World Wide Web: http://school.discovery.com/lessonplan s/programs/frictioninourlives/

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