Reaction time is easily measured in this fun lab. But rather than using a stopwatch, we take advantage of physics and calculate the time segment by measuring the distance the ruler falls before it's caught. Is reaction time a reflex? Nope. The difference between the two is discussed within the activity.
- What's the difference between reaction time and reflexes?
- Can reaction time improve with practice?
- How can reaction time be measured?
- Reaction time is a measure of how quickly you're able to respond to a signal.
- Reflexes are a nearly instantaneous response to a stimulus.
- Both reflexes and reaction times are fairly fixed and don't improve with practice.
meter stick, friend
About 20–30 minutes, longer with included writing assignment
Yes! Plus extensive teacher notes address the many questions that come up. You shouldn’t have to do outside research on this topic unless you want to. Specific charts and graphic organizers have keys.
Middle School Students, Ages 11-14
- Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting
- Diagrams for labeling