Forces and Motion

Episode 204: Preparation for kinematics

Teaching Guidance for 16-19 IOP TAP

There are opportunities here for using datalogging equipment and light gates to record and analyse motion, so it would be useful to check in advance what is available and try it out. One approach with unfamiliar equipment is to ask a couple of students to set up an experiment or demonstration in advance, so that they can then demonstrate it to the class (under your guidance, of course). In this way, you can learn alongside them.

Similarly there are opportunities for using modelling software (such as Modellus). Try finding some students who are prepared to try it out and give you a driving lesson.

Main aims of this topic


Students will:

  • Understand and use the relationships between velocity, acceleration, time and displacement
  • Know and use the following equations of motion: s = ut + 12at 2, v = u + at, v 2 = u 2 + 2as
  • Calculate acceleration from the instantaneous gradient of a velocity time graph
  • Calculate displacement from the area under a velocity-time graph
  • Understand the independence of horizontal and vertical velocities
  • Describe motion in a uniform gravitational field using the independence of vertical and horizontal velocity
  • Use the equations of motion to calculate ranges of horizontally projected bodies

Prior knowledge

Students will be familiar with calculations of speed and (perhaps) acceleration. It will help if they are familiar with laboratory methods of determining times, speeds and accelerations using light gates and datalogging equipment.

Where this leads

Explaining motion in terms of forces is covered in the topic of dynamics.

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