Activity 2: A Tool for Inquiry

What can I expect to get out of this activity?

In the previous activity, you completed analyses of a projectile. This activity will demonstrate some of the capabilities of VideoPoint for analyzing more complex situations involving the mathematics and physics of the human body.
how long will it take?

30 minutes for the reading.

30 minutes for additional work with VideoPoint.


Read Chapter 3 Sections 3.1 and 3.2 of the VideoPoint User's Guide. Get a feel for how to extend the tools in VideoPoint to serve the goals of math or physics teaching. Please ignore features, like calculation and viewing of center of mass, which may not be relevant if you teach math.

Open up VideoPoint. Go to the Examples folder. Find the Karate sub-folder. The first activity, projectile motion example, gave a quick overview of a simple analysis using VideoPoint. However, as you may have already noted, life usually isn't as simple. The hands-on activities in this section demonstrate how to begin using the more advanced features of VideoPoint to investigate more complex motions. These examples also show how this technique permits inquiry of phenomena unavailable to standard sensors on MBL or CBL.

In these activities you will learn how to:

  1. pose and investigate questions like "At what speed did the hand hit the boards?",

  2. interpret mathematical and physical meaning from graphs made with video analysis. "How fast did his hand decelerate when hitting the board?", and

  3. explore the mathematics and physics of the motion of the human body.

  1. Select either the KARATE example in the "EXAMPLES" folder, OR
    the GRAND JETE movie (in the Dickinson College folder, DSON008.MOV) . Investigate one or both with VP.

    For the Karate clip, make a data set of the student's hand.

    The GRAND JETE is described in Chapter 3 of the manual. Make TWO data sets of the GRAND JETE: The position of the ballerina's head and the position of her center of mass (located at her hips).
  2. Pose some questions like those above and use VideoPoint to answer them. Keep in mind that you can save an analysis at any point to make it easier on your students (and to focus them more on the mathematics and science and less on the software).
    Remember also that images of the VideoPoint screens and data can be printed out so a class can share in the investigation by doing the analysis on a graphing calculator. The movie can be enlarged so all can see the action to aid focusing their minds on the physical meaning of the graphs.
Activity 2
TO DO Checklist

__ Print this page!

Readings & Hands On
__ Read 3.1 and 3.2 in the User's Guide.
__ Try working with Karate or Grand Jete.

Initial Thoughts
__ Post your initial comments on Activity 2 and read some of the module-based discussion in the VideoPoint Discussion area.

Local Study Group Meeting
__ Attend LSG meeting where colleagues share their new "tools" for inquiry.

Further Reflection
__ Visit the VideoPoint Discussion area again to read more of the dialogue and share your insights and questions.

While working with the materials take a few minutes to ask:
  1. MATH & PHYSICS: Students constantly exhibit confusions about the difference between the trajectory of an object and a graph of position vs. time.
    The graph of a VP data set will can show Y POSITION against TIME. Is this the actual path of the hand or the dancer's head or something else? What will X POSITION against time tell us?
    Karate Clip: Can you find a way to get an estimate on the speed at which the hand hit the boards?
    Ballet Clip: What is the difference between the graph of the ballerina's head and that of her center of mass located at her hips? What might be the source of the difference?
  2. MATH: Did the hand accelerate in its motion? How would we know? Can you find a way to figure out how quickly it came to a stop, or how much it slowed down?
  3. PHYSICS: Is there a way to find out what the force was on the hand when it hit the boards?