Day 14: Position, Distance, and Displacement

As a check for understanding, I asked students to draw 2 position-time graphs: one in which the object's position, distance, and displacement were the same value at the end of the motion, and another in which those values were all different. Then I asked students to look for similarities among the "same values" graphs and among the "different values" graph.



About Frank Noschese

HS Physics Teacher constantly questioning my teaching.

3 responses to “Day 14: Position, Distance, and Displacement”

  1. Anonymous says :

    I love the drawn faces for the students holding the whiteboard. That’s a nice touch. 🙂

  2. sufficiency says :

    great idea – i think i will steal it for my 9th and 10th grade mechanics class starting next week!

    • astromezzo says :

      I used this with limited success two years ago, but I think I prepared this year’s class better for it and it led to some good discussion today. One group managed to start at position = 0 and still end up having their ending position and displacement be different by wandering into negative territory (e.g. a trip from 0 to 1 to -2 ends with position=-2, displacement=2, distance=3). I don’t know if you explicitly limited them to positive-valued positions, but I thought I’d share their idea, which led into a discussion of absolute value/magnitude.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: