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Mathematics lessons for IB® Diploma Programme

Analysis and Approaches | Calculus

Distance vs Displacement - A Particle's Journey


  • Students will further discuss the graphical and algebraic relationships between derivatives, integration and particle motion while using kinematics.
  • Students will then apply this particle knowledge to real world situations.
  • Students will try to make a connection with how to understand these topics in IB Mathematics courses and on their final assessments.


  • Displacement
  • Velocity
  • Acceleration
  • Kinematics
  • Derivative
  • Integration

About the lesson

To get this activity started, a quick review on Kinematics will be beneficial. Simply stated, Kinematics is the features or properties of the motion of an object. Three words associated with Kinematics are displacement, velocity, and acceleration. s is the displacement of the object (or particle) from a fixed origin at time t. v is the velocity of the particle at time t. a is the acceleration of the particle at time t.

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