Many younger pupils have only an intuitive idea of speed, and cannot relate it to information on distance and time.
The following questions all probe pupils’ understanding of the idea of speed, and are intended to be used in combination to explore understanding of this idea in some depth.
For more information, see the University of York EPSE website.
Resources to Address This
Increasing and Constant Speeds (5-11)
Source - SPT/ Mf01TA08
This resource can help younger students disentangle the notion of speed.View Resource
What speed? (11 - 14)
Source - SPT/Mo01TA03
A circus of activities for measuring the average speed of different objects. The purpose of this activity is for pupils to take measurements and to practise using the relationship: speed = distance / durationView Resource
Ticker-timers for investigating speed (14 - 16)
Source- Practical physics/ Force and Motion/ Time, distance and speed/ ...
Making ticker-timer charts can develop an understanding of speed-time graphs. The activity involves measuring distances and times.View Resource
The following studies have documented this misconception:
- Jones, A. T. () Investigation of Students' Understanding of Speed, Velocity and Acceleration. Research in Science Education, 13 (1),