Lab – Track Running

Olympic runners on a track.

Learning Intentions

  • To learn how to use a camera to record distance and time data
  • To learn how to calculate average velocity
  • To learn how the graphs of distance and velocity are related

Procedure – Day 1

  1. In a group of 2, decide who will be the runner and who will be the photographer. If the runner does not want to run, the runner can choose to walk, roll, crab walk, hop, skip, jump, somersault, etc.
  2. The runner positions themselves at the starting line of the 50.0 meter track. The track should have flags or indicators every 10.0 meters to mark the distance.
  3. The photographer positions themselves so that they can film the runner as they run past each flag/indicator.
  4. The photographer begins filming, and the runner runs to the finish line.

Lab Procedure – Day 2

  • Using your video from the previous class, record the time to at least the nearest tenth of a second (i.e. 11.2 seconds, not 11 seconds).
  • Calculate the values for the two “average velocity” columns.
    Distance (m) Time (s) Average velocity since start (m/s [forwards]) Average velocity for previous 10m (m/s [forwards])
  • Using Excel, create a graph showing the displacement vs. time for the runner.
  • Using Excel, create a graph showing the average velocity for previous 10 meters vs. time
  • Answer the following analysis questions:
    • During which segment did the runner go the fastest?
    • During which segment did the runner go the slowest?
    • Why do you think the runner went slower or faster?
    • What does the slope of the displacement vs. time graph represent?
  • On Microsoft Teams, submit the video, an Excel spreadsheet with the 2 graphs, and your answers to the analysis questions.



    • Kinematics (velocity and speed)

Curricular Competencies

    • Processing and analyzing data and information
    • Evaluating