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 Subject: RE: Understanding Distance, Speed, and Time Relationships Using Simulation Software Author: Liliana Date: Jan 26 2008
I would not focus the graph interpretation and the way data are registered via
that sort of physics model in the first place.
I would not work with equations that mathematize physics models neither all
together if I am intending to analyze the relations between formulation and
graphics neither.
To learn physics, I would work in the first place far from math modelization and
near from physics questions. To teach about mathematical graphic register and
link between formulation and plotiing as well as its interpretations, I would
beguin with intra-mathematical questions or with idealized situations
presented like that: like idealized situations (games, stories perhaps verosimil
but not realistic at all and that all of us might auseme on those basis).
For instance:
- Suppose you have a long pipe with a base of 1 cm2 and it is being filled with
an automatic dispenser that is pooring 3 cm3 every second from the starting
time. There is also a long pipe with a base of 4 cm2 and it is being filled with
an automatic dispenser that is pooring 5 cm3 every second from the same starting
time (or not). Suppose you may despreciate the time that it takes for each drop
to encrease the filled pipe length and that the filled length pipe grows as soon
as the dispenser drop the liquid. Please, choose what graphic is representing
the liquid growing length for each pipe. What label would be proper for each
axe. ... etc.
So, the problem is pretended as a geometric question as we agree to dismiss the
complex physics issue. We are dismiss the actual physics impact not because we
can but because we may figure out that kind of idealized conditions in our first
approuch to play with the situation of the fiction story.
As we have understood the game rules, the iconographic that is like the animated
cartoon of the cartoon runners might be another sample of this kind of game.
Even idealized physics models of tiny automatic runners are realistic simulated,
the applet offers a sort of race connotation, not a race representation and we
all, students and teachers, accespt those game rules.
When you have given entitie to the game rules as different of the realistic race
model, you might focus what those diffrences are and then, you might discuss
with the students physics questions involved (speed, medium speed, space,
distance, position, period of time, messaurments... etc.).
I guess I am not clear at all. Excuse my poor English and, please, intend to
rescue whatever you consider a contribution :-)

On Jan 25 2008, mckva85 wrote:
> Do you think there would be any value in doing activities with it
> before you teach the concepts?  What if they did some activities
> that helped them understand the parameters and so forth and then you
> showed them an equation that matched one of the runner graphs?  Do
> you think they could recognize the relationship between the graph
> and the slope and the y-intercept in the equation?

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