This page last changed on Jul 10, 2008 by rtinker.

Topic 1. Vector Position

Hang Time. This first topic should set the context for the entire unit, motivating the study of various parts of the problem and then coming back at the end. The topic should be some athletic feat. Our first choice, if we can get the videos, would be 'slam dunks.' Videos of basketball players doing slam dunks will be used to ask whether professionals can defy the rules of physics, as they appear to at first glance. Naturally, students will have to learn the rules of physics to answer this. This theme will be used to place the abstractions of vector position, velocity, force, and forms of energy into a meaningful context. See I have looked for free videos online--most are very grainy and contain very few frames. It will take some effort to get good videos for good data.
Standard. 8PC1.a. Students know position is defined in relation to some choice of a standard reference point and a set of reference directions.
Featured software

  • Hanging with Friends. Used to drive home the idea of vector displacement, and, by extension, any vector.
  • Maze game, using just the position vector.

Classroom discussion. The first step in understanding the basketball jump is to measure where the jumper is during the jump.
Investigations. Create an inquiry activity from Hanging with Friends to emphasize vectors and components.
Extensions. Create a Treasure Hunt activity, like the one we have in Dynamica. This brings in vector addition, which will be covered again in the force section
Suggested lab. Take their own videos of jumps, thrown balls, bicycles, or any other motion, enter the video into the computer, and use Tracker extract (x,y) data tables relative to some reference. If no camera is available, use canned videos.

Document generated by Confluence on Jan 27, 2014 16:42