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5.3: Trains in Motion

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12
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This activity is intended to supplement Algebra I, Chapter 4, Lesson 8.

Problem 1 – Observe Motion

Two trains are leaving the same train station but on different tracks. Time is measured in hours and distance is measured in kilometers.

Run the program TRAINS and select option 1, OBSERVE MOTION.

This shows the trains leaving the train station (\begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yaxis).

Train 1: top track

Train 2: bottom track

Press TRACE and use the arrow keys to help answer the following questions.

  1. Write at least 2 complete sentences describing the motion. Compare train 1 to train 2.
  2. When time \begin{align*}= 0\end{align*}=0, what is the initial location of train 1? (include units) _________
  3. What is the initial position of train 2? __________
  4. Which train is traveling at a faster rate? ___________
  5. What is the speed of the faster train? ___________
  6. How far did the slower train go in \begin{align*}1 \ hour\end{align*}1 hour? __________
  7. What is the rate of motion of the slower train? ___________
  8. At what distance are the trains the same distance from the station? ___________
  9. What time are the trains the same distance from the station? _____________

Problem 2 – Distance-Time Graph

Press \begin{align*}2^{nd}\end{align*}2nd [MODE] ENTER. Select option 2, DIST VS TIME.

For this graph, the \begin{align*}x-\end{align*}xaxis is time and the \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yaxis is distance.

Press TRACE and use the arrow keys to help answer the following questions.

10. Which train has the graph with a steeper slope? _________

11. What quantity does the slope represent? _________

12. What is the \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yintercept of each graph?

a) \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yintercept for train 1: ______________

b) \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yintercept for train 2: ______________

13. What is the physical meaning of the \begin{align*}y-\end{align*}yintercept for this distance-time graph?

14. Write an equation for the graph of each train.

a) train 1: _____________________

b) train 2: _____________________

15. To algebraically solve for the time when the two trains are the same distance from the station, set the two equations equal to each other and solve for time. Substitute this time into either equation to find the distance. Show your work.

Extension: List of \begin{align*}d = r \cdot t\end{align*}d=rt Data

Clear all the lists. On the Home screen press \begin{align*}2^{nd} \ [+]\end{align*}2nd [+], select ClrAllLists, and press ENTER.

Also turn off all Plots. Press \begin{align*}2^{nd} \ [Y=]\end{align*}2nd [Y=], select PlotsOff, and press ENTER.

Press MODE and press ENTER on G-T to display the graph and table side-by-side.

Set Plot1 to be a scatter plot by pressing \begin{align*}2^{nd} \ [Y=]\end{align*}2nd [Y=] ENTER and match the screen to the right.

Press Window and change the settings to \begin{align*}[-1, 6]\end{align*}[1,6] for \begin{align*}x\end{align*}x and \begin{align*}[-5, 50]\end{align*}[5,50] for \begin{align*}y\end{align*}y.

Now enter the following distance-time data into lists \begin{align*}L1\end{align*}L1 and \begin{align*}L2\end{align*}L2 by pressing STAT and selecting Edit…

\begin{align*}L1: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4\end{align*}L1:0,1,2,3,4

\begin{align*}L2: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20\end{align*}L2:0,5,10,15,20

Note: these distance are for a speed of \begin{align*}5\ mi/hr\end{align*}5 mi/hr.

Observe the table of values and their scatter plot by pressing GRAPH.

16. When the rate is \begin{align*}5\ mi/hr\end{align*}5 mi/hr, what is the distance when the time is \begin{align*}5 \ hours\end{align*}5 hours? In other words, what should the next value be in \begin{align*}L2\end{align*}L2?

Test this by entering \begin{align*}5\end{align*}5 in \begin{align*}L1\end{align*}L1 and your “guess” in \begin{align*}L2\end{align*}L2. See if you are correct by pressing GRAPH.

To observe the changes other rates have on the resulting graph, in the List Editor move the cursor so that it is on top of \begin{align*}L2\end{align*}L2 and enter \begin{align*}L1*3\end{align*}L13.

Then view the graph to observe the resulting changes.

Enter as well as other values for the rate.

17. When \begin{align*}r\end{align*}r increases: Describe the slope. What happens to the distance?

When \begin{align*}r\end{align*}r decreases: Describe the slope. What happens to the distance?

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Date Created:
Feb 22, 2012
Last Modified:
Oct 31, 2014
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