Education Technology

Bell Ringer: Determining the Relationship Between Displacement, Velocity, and Acceleration

Published on 09/13/2010

Activity Overview

Students determine the slope of a displacement versus time function at various times. They will then plot the data to obtain the velocity versus time function. They will repeat this process to obtain the acceleration versus time function.

Key Steps

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    Students investigate the relationship between the equation for a graph of displacement vs. time and the acceleration and velocity of the moving object. They first study a graph of the position of an object over time. They slide a tangent line along the graph to observe how the slope of the line changes.

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    Next, students make a plot of the slope of the displacement curve vs. time on the same page as the displacement vs. time graph.

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    Students find the equation for the best-fit line through the slope vs. time graph. They compare this equation with the equation for the velocity of the object and observe that velocity is equal to the slope of the displacement vs. time graph.