Never discount anything as useful in your PE classroom, as I re-discovered today.
My son was riding up and down the street on his bike. “How fast do you reckon I’m going, Dad?” he asked.
I toyed with the idea of strapping my bike speedo on his bike or getting him to look at a GPS receiver while he was riding. Both had time and safety contraints that made me look elsewhere.
So I turned to my Hotwheels radar gun.
It has variable settings – 1:1 Scale (real world speed) or Hotwheels speed (my son travelled at 28km/h, 1793km/h Hotwheels speed!); MPH or KPH. Pull the trigger whilst aiming at the target gives you the speed readout. Pull the trigger to reset.
I’ve used this before in class at school. Surprisingly, its accurate and gives instant feedback to kids when running around. Formally you can use it to measure velocity in Sport Science settings, or informally as a motivation tool – “who can run fastest during today’s lesson”. Or for measuring speed of cars outside school for a road safty survey (done this too – drivers freak out thinking they’ve been speed trapped!)
As an experiment, time some runners with watches, then use maths to work out their velocity, and then compare that to the gun reading.
I thought of these already. Surely there are more applications for a useful little “toy”that costs $A20?
3 thoughts on “Hot wheels in the classroom”
What a great idea. I’m going shopping tomorrow.
Thanks for the comment, Shane. Yep, sometimes the simplest things can be a fun solution to an everyday problem.
Just discovered your blog. Love the idea of using a radar gun and incorporating physical activity with other subjects (calculating velocity of runners).
You might want to check out the Daily Physical Activity Manual Saskatchewan in motion just released for K-8 teachers. It’s full of ideas for keeping kids moving throughout the day. http://bit.ly/9C2UMr