Here is a fun, ready to go, pullback toy car lab that aligns with the NGSS MS-PS3-1 and HS-PS3-1 dealing with speed, potential energy, kinetic energy and mass.
*The speed equation is introduced and sample problems are included. The lab involves setting up a starting line, finish line and pullback point and the students do 24 runs of 6 each.
*The first six runs involve finding the mass of the car and the maximum pullback distance/potential energy.
*The second six runs use the same car and half of the pullback distance so less potential energy.
*Then the students add masses to their cars and use the maximum pullback distance for the next six runs.
*The last six runs use the cars with the extra mass but half the pullback distance.
* Students calculate average speeds and plot them on a bar graph.
*They finish up with reflective questions.
There is a very detailed description for teachers plus answer keys. This can be sent to their digital devices or printed out.
For more information on how I do this activity, I have created a blog post:
Make Speed and Acceleration Fun with Pullback Cars