Car and Ramp Experiment

Heidi Hellenbrand and Charles JaDoul


How does changing the height of a ramp affect how fast a car go down it?


We measured the seconds it took for the car to go down a ramp at a certain height.

We needed:

  • Ramp(wooden board)
  • Car(Hot Wheels)
  • Ruler(To measure the height)
  • Books(Lifts the ramp up)
  • Timer(For Timing!)

We placed the ramp at the heights:

  • 10 cm
  • 20 cm
  • 30 cm
  • 40 cm
  • 50 cm

For each time, we placed the car at the highest point of the ramp and let go on the timer.

Big image

Procedure Part 2

We took a series of 5 trials for each height and found the average time taken. We then divided the distance(1.26 meters) by the average times for each height.


This graph shows that when the ramp gets higher/steeper, the car goes faster.

X axis = Height

Y axis = Average Speed

Big image


Our experiment went really well. They only problem is how fast the reflexes are from the time we push the timer button to the time we actually let the car go down the ramp but that really can't be solved. Here are the heights and average time with the math of getting the average speed:

10 cm: 3.32s

1.26m/3.32s = 37.95

20 cm: 1.77s

1.26m/1.77s = 71.19

30 cm: 1.33s

1.26m/1.33s = 95.73

40 cm: 1.23s

1.26m/1.23s = 102.44

50 cm: 1.04s

1.26m/1.04s = 121.15

The five trials ran smoothly and if the car went off track before it finished going down the ramp, we did the trial over. The car never went straight which could affect the time it took. Just like swimming, if you want to get a faster time you might want to stay in the middle of the lane or to one side so your not taking extra yards to get to the finish. The car was all over so for all we knew, the car could've gone 1.28m instead of 1.26m. I know the velocity would probably be the same but we also tried to line the car up at different angles to make it go straight so it might've gone at different distances.


Gravity, according to the Web, is a object being pulled to the center of the earth. In this case, the car is being pulled down the ramp because it's mass is dragging it down towards the earth. The wheels also bring motion and the ramp gives it space to go to the ground from an angle instead of just dropping it.


The car required friction of being pushed by Charles' weight and the friction of the wooden ramp against the car wheels.


This experiment required the force of motion, gravity and friction. The gravity pulled the car towards the earth. The motion was the car moving down the ramp. The friction as the car wheels against the wooden board. These were all major forces in this experiment.


In this experiment it required motion, the motion of the car going down the ramp.


I needed speed to keep the car running down the track. I used speed to find velocity.