P6.1 Global Challenges Part 1
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P6.1a - recall typical speeds encountered in everyday experience for wind and sound, and for walking, running, cycling and other transportation systems
P6.1b - estimate the magnitudes of everyday accelerations
P6.1c - make calculations using ratios and proportional reasoning to convert units and to compute rates
P6.1d - explain methods of measuring human reaction times and recall typical results
P6.1e - explain the factors which affect the distance required for road transport vehicles to come to rest in emergencies and the implications for safety
P6.1f - explain the dangers caused by large decelerations
In topic P6.1 global challenges learners take their prior knowledge of forces, accelerations and decelerations and apply it to real life daily situations of vehicles on roads. Learners look at the science of large decelerations, reaction times and road conditions and how this impacts on the safety of the vehicle. Learners should be given freedom to research safety features of a vehicle. This exploration pack will focus on safety and base it on vehicles. Learners should already be familiar with some concepts from Key Stage 3 such as the basics of describing forces, forces and motion and the basic understanding of SI units. Learners should have built on this further in topics P2 - motion, Newton’s law and forces in action. Learners may have the following misconceptions or difficulties:
- Learners may confuse the terms distance and displacement. Make it clear that the distance an object travels and its displacement are not the same although related.
- Learners may confuse the terms speed and velocity.
- Learners may confuse acceleration with speed.
- Learners may think ABS systems help to reduce stopping distance. There are many good videos to show which can help learners to grasp a better understanding of each point. The tasks will focus on these.
The speed of your reactions plays a large part in everyday life. It can have life changing effects as slower reaction times can have a consequence. None is more so important than when looking at vehicles and breaking. This activity is a practical task which involves learners measuring their own reaction times. There are two phases, first phase measuring reaction time using a single ruler then again with two rulers. This can be taken further and learners can take caffeine to see if that affects their reaction time. This can then be linked to drivers being intoxicated, drugged and tired as well as other factors which will affect their thinking distance. This is a good opportunity for class discussion.
A video which shows reaction in a vehicle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY8JiSWOxdo Reaction time practical method: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-biology/measuring-reaction-time-human-nerve-controlled-reaction
To introduce P6.1e and f show learners the following video clip which looks at stopping distances at different speeds. Get learners in pairs to think of two other factors that might affect the stopping distance. Write it on a post it note and stick it on the board. As a class go over each factor and see which ones come up more often. Begin to distinguish between breaking and thinking distance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OG2WCDvX-M8
Alternatively get learners to read the following text and underline using two different colours: Colour 1 – Underline anything that affects his thinking distance Colour 2 – Underline anything that affects his breaking distance ‘On a cold icy morning in December, Mick woke up rushing, as he was late for work. He had been at a party all night where he was dancing and drinking. He was still suffering from the after effects of the alcohol. This caused him to wake up very tired and in a rush. As he got into his car he sped off down the road double the normal speed limit oblivious to the icy and wet roads. He turned to turn the radio on and before he knew it he was heading for a head on collision with the vehicle in front. It was too late.’
This task focuses on P6.1g and enables learners to explore the safety aspects of a vehicle. It can be used as a homework task but would be recommended as an in-class activity. Learners could be given the task as a role e.g. trainee health and safety inspectors for a car company etc. The task involves learners researching the different safety aspects of a vehicle which protects its occupants and prevent accidents.
Good places to start for information: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_ocr_gateway/forces/crumplezonesrev3.shtml http://www.rd.com/advice/9-car-safety-features-to-look-out-for/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KV2cXxpHa58 http://www.iihs.org/iihs/ratings/crash-avoidance-features
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