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Pick Your Brackets
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Pick Your Brackets

Credit: Arthur Rackham
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tortoise_and_hare_rackham.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

No doubt you know the old fable about the tortoise and the hare. The slow and steady tortoise plodded along, went the distance, and won the race. And the hare? He was so confident in his speed that he took a nap and missed the race. This fable represents two aspects of motion: speed and distance.

The Back Story

  • Do you think you can guess which of two contestants might win a race? For example, which might be able to move with greater speed, a hare or a cockroach? Which might be able to go a greater distance, an Indy car or a dragonfly?
  • Play the motion game “Go” at the following URL: http://www.cosi.org/downloads/activities/go/go.swf
  • In this game, you will pick brackets for some very odd but interesting tournaments. You’ll choose the real-world objects or animals that you think can travel at a higher speed, over a greater distance, or with greater momentum. Hover over the information (i) button if you want to know more about a given contestant. 

Credit: Mark Dumont
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wcdumonts/10607778095
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Cheetahs may be very fast, but they are not very great long distance runners [Figure2]

 Can You Apply It?

Learn more about speed, distance, and momentum at the link below. Then answer the following questions.

  1. How is average speed calculated?
  2. A tortoise travels 5 meters in 50 seconds, and a hare travels 240 meters in 20 seconds. Calculate the speed of the tortoise and the hare.
  3. What is momentum? How is it calculated?
  4. If the tortoise in question 2 has a mass of 50 kg and the hare has a mass of 1.5 kg, which animal has greater momentum?
  5. A major league fastball has greater momentum than a hare. Explain why.


Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Arthur Rackham; Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tortoise_and_hare_rackham.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Mark Dumont; Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wcdumonts/10607778095; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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