Math and Science Activities from Jefferson Lab
The Slow Bicycle Race

Background:

Experiments at Jefferson Lab will take weeks to months to complete. During this time scientists will collect millions of pieces of data. Once the scientists have the data, they begin to analyze the data using computers, looking for evidence to support or disprove their theories. To simulate the scientific data collection process, students will create the necessary data to calculate speed.

Objectives:

In this activity students will:

- work in teams

- ride a bicycle as slowly as possible

- use a stopwatch to measure time

- record data

- use multiplication and addition to determine the team's total distance and time

- use division to calculate team's average speed

- compare average speed with other teams to determine which team was the slowest

- create a bar graph to depict each team's average speed

Minimum Materials Needed for Each Student Group:

- Bicycle helmet

- Bicycle

- Race track

- Stopwatch

The Slow Bicycle Race materials
Materials for The Slow Bicycle Race

Pre-Activity Preparations:

The Race Track

1. Mark off one race track for each team. Each track should be a rectangle 6 meters (~19.5 feet) long and 60 centimeters (~2.4 feet) wide.