** **

**Vectors are a very a very
important basic concept in physics. Many of my students struggle with
this basic concept. I wrote this activity in an effort to better
teach that concept and help my students who need a more kinesthetic
approach to this concept. The purpose of this activity is to acquaint
students with vectors using the Global Positioning System 12 Personal
Navigator. **

** **

**Objectives: **

**Students will use the GPS to
locate various points around the school campus. From that location
effort they will plot the vectors that they traveled and do a vector
analysis to determine a resultant vector. In this experiment the
student will use a Garmin GPS 12 and Graphical Analysis to learn more
about vectors.**

** **

**Materials:
**

**Garmin GPS
12**

**Graphical Analysis
(college prep approach)**

**Graph paper (conceptual
approach**

**Log Book and writing
instrument**

**Procedure: Each lab team will
use a Garvin GPS 12 to locate three points on the school campus. Then
the lab teams will graph the most direct path to each point in a
sequential manner, **

**1. Start your quest for the path
at the flagpole at the high school. Turn the GPS on by pressing the
red button on the control panel to the left of the display panel. The
first page will display the satellite information. The desired
status, which is displayed in the upper left-hand corner of the
display, is 2D Nav or 3D Nav. This will allow you to perform position
location. If the display reads searching or acquiring, the GPS does
not have enough information to plot your position. **

**2. Press the GOTO button, and
the waypoints will be displayed. Highlight POSTN1(which is short for
position one) on the display and press the ENTER button. Press the
PAGE button to view the map display. The direction of position one
from the flagpole (or the bearing) is given at the top right of the
map display. Remember that 360 degrees is due north, 90 degrees is
due east, 180 degrees is due south, and 270 degrees is due west. The
map shown also shows the other positions, two, three and four. In the
upper right hand corner the distance to position one is shown. Record
both bearing and distance on your data sheet. **

**3. Press the PAGE button again,
and the GPS displays the bearing and the distance to position one as
well as a compass. If you start to walk in the direction of position
one, as best you can, the compass will direct you to that position.
The display will show your "track" which is the direction on the
compass you are going. As you approach position one, the GPS will
display a message that you are close to that position. You will find
a stake, with orange paint on it, driven into the ground at Position
One. You need to pull that stake up and bring it back to the
classroom with you. They are numbered.**

**4. Repeat step 2, except
highlighting position 2 (POSTN2) on the "goto waypoint list". Once
again you will be given a bearing (the direction you want to go) and
the distance you need to go to find position 2. Record both these
values on your data sheet. It also be marked with a wooden
stake**

**5. Repeat step 2, now for
position 3 and then for position 4.**

**6. You now have data for all the
positions showing how far away they are and the bearing or direction
from each to the other in sequence. These are vectors. They have both
magnitude (distance) and direction (bearing), and can be combined to
find a resultant vector.**

**7. Return to the flagpole after
you have gathered all the stakes from the 4 positions. After all the
groups have returned we will go back to the classroom for
calculations.**

** **

**Calculations: (for Conceptual
Physics)**

**1. Using a sheet of graph paper,
draw your 4 vectors. Remember that they must be drawn with attention
to direction and scale. Each lab group member must complete a
graph.**

**2. Now redraw the vectors that
represent the straightest path from the positions in sequential
order. Use the head to tail method and keep the scale and direction
the same as the original. **

**3. Draw a resultant vector that
connects the flagpole with the last position. Measure the distance
and the angle so that you can label the resultant
vector.**

**4. Turn in your completed
graph.**

** **

**Calculations: (for College Prep
Physics)**

**8. Resolve the resultant vector
from your data collected using the GPS, using Graphical
Analysis**

**9. Print your work
**

** **

** **

**Garmin Link**