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.

 

Questions Answered:

  • What's the difference between reaction time and reflexes? 
  • Can reaction time improve with practice? 
  • How can reaction time be measured?

 

Topics Addressed:

  • 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.

 

Materials Needed

meter stick, friend

 

Preparation Time

none

 

Teaching Time 

About 20–30 minutes, longer with included writing assignment

 

Answer Key

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. 

 

Target Audience

Middle School Students, Ages 11-14

 

Student Sheets

  • Scaffolded writing prompts & lab reporting 
  • Diagrams for labeling

Reaction Time: A Simple Method to Measure It

$3.00Price

    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

     

    This resource (along with all resources sold on this site) can be found inside the membership. For information on that option, click here.

    Terms of Use   Copyright © Carolyn Balch. All rights reserved by the author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.