How fast are you going ? Speed and Motion

Created by:
Dr. William Chavez 
Saddleback Valley Unified School District

This Page URL

UCI Science WebQuests from all years


To be able to: 
recognize that movement is observed according to a frame of reference. 
describe motion and calculate speed and velocity.
interpret graphs on constant velocity, acceleration, negative acceleration (deceleration).
be able to animate motion using the velocities of different objects(Lab on internet).

Resources Needed:
You will need a computer connected to the internet as well as sheets found on this webquest. Many activities require plugins for your browser. 
You will need Macromedia's - Flash and Shockwave plugins.

Your Task: 

  1. Have you ever wondered how fast things are going? Well, take a look at this page on motion.
  2. Well that was nice to know.  But what does that mean?  In order to understand how fast you are moving you need to be able to compare it with some thing else that is not moving or is stationary. That stationary object can be called a frame of reference.
  3. To help you better understand frame of reference, you will want to compare how fast two students are tossing cookies    (View three frames and return)
  4. Now that you have a better sense of a frame of reference, just what is motion?  You might think it is moving from one place to another, and you are almost right. But, in science, we have a name for the study of motion.  It is called Kinematics.There are some new words that you need to know.
  5. Use puzzlemaker to make a crossword puzzle for the following words : scalar, vector, distance, displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration, kinematics, frame of reference.  Get the definitions for the words as you view the lesson 1 on Kinematics (lesson one only)

    1. After you have mastered lesson 1, you should have a good idea of the vocabulary and should be able to answer this Question (1)
    2. That one was easy.  Try this Question (2)Try this Question (3) for extra credit.
    3. If you are still unsure of the difference between speed and velocity, try this website on speed and velocity
    4. Now try the word problems on speed and velocity from the work pagethat you can print out.
    5. Now that you have a knowledge of how to do word problems, let's figure out how to recognize a graph representation of constant speed, velocity and acceleration. 
  7. Can you guess which line is constant velocity, and which one is accelerating faster?

  9. To see if you are correct, go to lesson on graphing velocity and acceleration.  Place the following different velocities at 0,5,10,and15.seconds in the tutorial and notice the lines that are similar to the graph above.
    1. 10m/s,10m/s,10m/s,10m/s
    2. 0m/s,5,m/s,10,m/s,15m/s
    3. 15m/s,10m/s,0m/s 0m/s
    4. 10m/s,5m/s,0m/s-5m/s
    5. 0m/s,1m/s5m/s,10m/s
    6. 2m/s,5m/s,-5m/s, -8m/s
  1. Draw the five graphs on graph paper and label whether the graph is showing constant velocity, acceleration, or deceleration.
  1. For lab credit, do the lab on animating motion. Do activity 3, but you may have to look at the beginning of the lab to understand how to do activity 3.
Now that you have mastered the understanding of speed, maybe you would like to try your hand at some of these simulations.

1. Reaction time while driving- but don't crash

2. Frame of reference

3. Velocity composition

*** For all your work, enjoy this fast action game Skyracer ***  - requires Macromedia plug-in

How about testing your reaction time while trying to hit a baseball?

Please complete and hand in work together for credit.
  • Crossword puzzle showing definitions of words
  • Questions 1, 2,and 3 (for extra credit)
  • Six graphs from the tutorial with label for constant velocity, acceleration, and deceleration
  • Work sheet with 5 problems( show work)
  • Lab write-up for Lab on Animating Motion (activity 3)

    To Teacher Page

    Quick Links - Select and click "Go"

    Back to the top

    August 16, 2002
    You are visitor #