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An Investigation To Find Out What Affects The Stopping Distance Of A Toy Car.

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An Investigation To Find Out What Affects The Stopping Distance Of A Toy Car


We are going to investigate how changing the height of the starting position of the car of the ramp affects the stopping distance of the toy car.


Things we could change to affect the stopping distance –

  • Gradient of ramp
  • Speed
  • Counter forces
  • Mass of car
  • Starting position of car on ramp

Dependant Variable:

We will investigate a change in the starting position of the car on the ramp.


  • A ramp
  • A toy car
  • 3 or 4 metre rulers (depending on the distance the car travels)
  • Clamp stand (to support the ramp)

Fair Test:

        To make our test fair there are several things that we will have to keep the same:

  • The same toy car must be used each time
  • The ramp must stay at the same height
  • The same ramp must be used
  • The distance must be measured in the same units (e.g. cm)

...read more.



  • Set up the apparatus as it is show in the diagram
  • Make sure the ramp is marked at every 10cm from the bottom of the ramp
  • Start the toy car from behind the 10cm mark on the ramp, let it roll down the ramp and measure the distance it travels with the rulers. If it doesn’t travel in a straight line (or fairly straight direction) do this again.
  • Repeat this twice so you have three different results
  • Do the same thing every 10cm up the ramp until 90cm three times each
  • Find an average result for each height by using the 3 different results for each height.


I predict that the further upwards the car is started on the ramp, the further it will travel which means the stopping distance will be longer. This is because when the car is high up on the ramp it has a longer distance to accelerate.

...read more.


        Except for the obvious way the distance travelled becomes higher the higher the stopping distance was, there aren’t really any other patterns in our results. For the first few results (10, 20, 30, 40) I noticed a small pattern which doesn’t really continue further on. When you look at one result for a height, then a different one from that height doubled (eg. Look at the average from 10cm then from 20cm), the average is almost doubled. This only works for a couple of the results but perhaps if we had gotten more accurate results this would have been clearer and shown another pattern.

...read more.

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