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Mrs. Wolf's Oregon Trail Web Quest



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Covered Wagons

Covered Wagon Task:

Your task for this page is to create a shoe box, K-Nex, or building 
block "covered wagon".  The "wagon" will be pulled up a cardboard ramp using 
gram weights or washers.  The experiment question is: What is the effect 
weight has on the amount of force needed to pull a wagon up a 30 cm, 30 
degree cardboard ramp?
  
Constant variables are the experiment elements that will not change.  You 
will be using the same ramp, "wagon", length of pull string, type of weights 
(either washers, pennies, or gram weights), and conducting the same number of 
trials. 

Manipulated variables are the elements that will be changing.  For this 
experiment you will pull an empty box then the same box filled with 20 grams 
(or approx. 15 pennies or washers) up the ramp.

Materials list:
"wagon" use a shoe box or building blocks with straws for axles and wheels,
30 cm of cardboard, 35 cm of string or yarn, 30 - 50 washers, 15 pennies or 
20 gram weights, protractor, notebook and pencil to record your results, 
books for ramp support,masking tape, and a metric ruler.

Information about covered wagons is found at this site:
http://www.endoftheoregontrail.org/wagons.html

Set Up Conditions

*Place your cardboard on a flat place such as table or the floor.
*Under one end, add several books to create a ramp.
*Use your protractor and stop adding books under the cardboard when the ramp  
reaches 30 degrees.
*Put "wagon" on the ramp by have the back wheels at the bottom of the ramp.
*Measure 10 cm from the front wheels to the top of the ramp and mark it with 
masking tape or a pencil.  This is the distance the "wagon" needs to travel.
*Attach a string to the front of your "wagon" and extend it up the ramp. It 
should be hanging off of the top of the ramp.
*To begin the experiment, you will be tying washers one or two at a time on 
the string.  This is how you measure the force needed to move the "wagon".


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Last Modified: Thursday, May 21, 2009
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