The Pace Tracer 2 Interactive was made to work with phones and tablets in Portrait mode. While the intent was to use the Interactive with phones and tablets, it will also work with Chromebooks, laptops, and desktop computers. The only requirement is that the device the Interactive is used on is equipped with a camera that can focus on a printout of an ArUco marker. The universal marker (page one of the Marker PDF) can be used in situations in which students will remain at a single lab station for the entirety of the lab. If using the Interactive as a Stations-style lab, print pages 2-15 of the Marker PDF and post at the various stations. We also provide a Quarter-Sized Marker to be used in situations in which space is limited and/or movement is not possible. These quarter-sized markers can be held in your hand and moved towards or away from the computer with arm movements.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

We believe this Interactive is best used in the middle to later stages of a learning cycle on velocity-time graphs after students have some familiarity with graphing principles. Students can put their developing understanding to a test with Pace Tracer 2.

Pace Tracer 2 uses the camera of the device as a motion-detecting instrument. With most operating systems, the user of the device must first give permission to Pace Tracer to use the device. (It's safe. You have our pledge that no video is collected by Pace Tracer. It is only used for motion detection). The user then calibrates Pace Tracer by pointing the camera at the printed ArUco marker from a distance of 1 m away. This 1-meter distance does not need to be precise; from the tip of the finger on an outstretched arm to the nose when standing sideways can be called 1 meter. Once calibrated, a small dot will appear on the velocity axis of the graph. It will detect movements of the phone or tablet and plot the velocity accordingly. When ready, the student can tap Go and move in an effort to match the graph. The velocity of the phone is marked on the graph in real time and the percentage of the graph that is matched is displayed. If a student matches 60% or more of the graph, then the esteemed Trophy is rewarded and displays on the Menu of Graphs. If the graph is not matched, the student can tap on Reset and try again. 

Some graphs (in our experience) are more difficult to match than others.  There is a small Menu icon on the bottom left of the Camera view than can be used to exit the camera and return to the Graphs menu in order to select a new graph. There are a total of 14 graphs that include at rest, constant speed, speeding up, and slowing down motions. The + direction is away from the ArUco marker. 

The Physics Classroom has provided a classroom-ready activity sheet for use with this Interactive. It can be used in the classroom with students positioned at their own lab station. If hallway use is permitted, it can also be performed in the hallways as a stations-style lab. The lab includes a strong post-lab analysis section where students summarize their movements in words and make distinctions between the different shapes of velocity-time graphs.

Many teachers will prefer to do that lab without the activity sheet and utilize the Trophies on the Main Menu as validation of student mastery. Depending on the level of class, teachers may wish their students to match all 14 graphs or simply challege them to do any 7 graphs (as an example).

Our Pace Tracer 2 Interactive is now equipped with Task Tracker functionality. Teachers with Task Tracker accounts for The Physics Interactives section can track their student's progress on Pace Tracer 2.  Learn more.

Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Pace Tracer 2 Interactive. These include:
  • Physics Interactives:
    Pace Tracer 2 is not our only interactive learning experience. Why not try one of our other Interactives that target kinematic graphing principles. You may particularly like our Graph That MotionKinematic Graphing, and Pace Tracer 1 Interactives.
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Missions KG5 - KG8 of the Kinematic Graphing module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.
  • Animation: Numerous GIF Animations at The Multimedia Physics Studios
    The 1D Kinematics section of the Multimedia Physics Studios has several instructive animations that animate the motion of an object and show the corresponding position-time and velocity-time graphs for that motion. Visit the Multimedia Physics Studios.

  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Describing Motion with Velocity-Time Graphs
    Describing Motion Graphically
    Interpreting Velocity-Time Graphs
    Graphing Summary

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.
  • Calculator Pad: 
    Are you ready for calculations and problem solving. The Calculator Pad is our go-to section for that. If you haven't seen our 2022 update, then you need to check it out. You will find a couple of problem sets on the analysis of velocity-time graphs.

    Visit Kinematics Chapter of The Calculator Pad.
  • Science Reasoning Activities:
    Science classrooms should be filled with reasoning activities. There is one related activity in the Kinematics section of the Science Reasoning Center that will challenge students to employ close reading, data analysis, and logical reasoning. The activity is named ...

    Velocity-Time Graph

    Visit the Science Reasoning Center.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Pace Tracer 2 into an instructional unit on kinematic graphing can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.

A special thanks goes out to Chris from Nerd Island Studios (makers of SimBucket) and to his Conant HS Physics Teacher gang for putting together and testing this Interactive.