Education Technology

Two-Dimensional Motion and Vectors

Updated on 07/30/2015

Activity Overview

In this lesson, students will investigate two-dimensional vectors using the simulation of a boat crossing a river.

Objectives

  • Students will measure and describe one- and two-dimensional position, displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration over time.
  • Students will graphically calculate the resultant of two or more vectors.
  • Students will use the Pythagorean theorem and the tangent function to calculate the resultant of two or more vectors.

Vocabulary

  • scalar
  • vector
  • x- and y-components of a vector
  • magnitude of a vector

About the Lesson

This lesson visually shows how a vector can be expressed as two component vectors, and an animated demonstration of the addition of two perpendicular vectors.
As a result, students will:

  • Investigate two-dimensional vectors.
  • Explore the resultant vectors produced when two perpendicular vectors are added.
  • Use these relationships to solve problems involving the motion of a boat crossing a river.