Education Technology

Vectors Introduction

Activity Overview

An introduction to vectors visually, conceptually and numerically. Students manipulate vectors to show addition (head to tail) and the parallelogram rule. Students use a column matrix to represent a vector and explore scalar multiples and the magnitude of a vector.


  • Add / Subtract vectors visually
  • Add / Subtract vectors numerically
  • Component form of a vector
  • Magnitude of a vector
  • Scalar product


  • Scalar
  • Vector
  • Magnitude

About the Lesson

Students manipulate vectors adding them head to tail visually then progress to the matrix representation of a vector to see the numerical result. Students develop an understanding of the parallelogram rule to help understand that a + b = b + a. Dynamic objects allow students to see representations of a scalar multiplied by a vector and also the component form of a vector and how to calculate the magnitude of a vector with an informal introduction to the unit vector.