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Graphing Distance vs. Time
1. To use the calculator to make a distance vs. time graph, and
TI-82 or TI-83 calculator
Jill walks forward while Bob records her distance from where she started at one second intervals. The data recorded are listed below. Using the recorded data, Jillís average speed during any time interval can be determined using the definition:
average speed = distance traveled divided by time traveled.
Another way to examine the data is to construct a distance vs time graph. The steepness of the graph gives you information about Jillís speed.
The following are Bobís recorded data.
To create a list using the TI-82 OR TI-83
1. Press the [STAT] key. (Make sure Edit is highlighted in the EDIT menu)
2. Press [ENTER] or . (This will select the Edit menu; the first entry under list Ll should be highlighted)
3. Enter 0 for the first time data value; (note that the value that you are entering appears on the bottom line)
4. Press [ENTER].
5. Enter the remaining time data in the same manner.
6. Press [>] (right arrow key; this moves the cursor to the first entry of list L2)
7. Enter the position data in L2. (check to see that both Ll and L2 have the same number of entries)
To make corrections to a list:
Press [STAT] [ENTER] ), use the arrow keys to position the cursor over the entry that you wish to modify; type in the new entry and press [ENTER]
To graph one data list vs. another:
1. Press [2nd][STATPLOT] (this command displays the STAT PLOTS screen; note that there are three possible plots available)
2. Press  (this command displays the Plot1 screen)
3. The 5 options you may select are:
4. After selecting the desired options (remember to turn the plot ON !), press [GRAPH]
5. Your graph may not display all of your data points (because the graphing window is not set properly); press [ZOOM]  to automatically select a window that displays the full range of your data.
Graphing Distance vs Time
1. What quantity is plotted on the y-axis?___________________________________________
On the x-axis?_______________________________________________________________
2. On the given axes sketch the graph as seen on your screen. Label the axes.
3. Sometimes dividing a graph into regions make it easier to analyze. Look for patterns in the data. Examine your graph and draw vertical lines that divide it into regions. How many different patterns did you mark? __________________
4. Using the TRACE function and arrow keys to look at your graph,what was Jill doing during the time interval 4sec-7sec? What was Jillís average speed during that time? Describe the shape of the graph for this time interval. __________________________________________________________________________
5. What was Jillís average speed for:
6. Suppose the distance for 16s was 29m. Describe the motion of Jill during that time.
7. Look at your answers in #4 and #5 above. What conclusion can you draw about the relationship between the shape of the distance time graph and Jillís speed?
8. Why might you prefer to show the data on a graph instead of in a table?
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