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Distance vs Displacement

Distance vs Displacement

Description:

By the end of this tutorial a student will be able to describe and measure an object's position in terms of displacement and distance.

This is a short tutorial that helps students understand the fundamental difference between distance and displacement. This tutorial is not meant to be a truly stand alone lesson but rather a part of a larger unit that describes the basics of kinematic language.

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Tutorial

Objective:

By the end of this tutorial a student will be able to describe and measure an object's position in terms of displacement and distance.

Distance vs Displacement

This video explains the difference between distance and displacement. It correlates with Kinematics Concepts Module 2 from Minds On Physics.

Source: Created by Gary Strickland

Describing Creature Motion

This lab experience will help the student build a solid mental model regarding the difference between distance and displacement.
Students need to be provided a large sheet (36"x36") of graph paper that is divided into quarters. They will need a straight edge and markers. In the activity below the students will draw the path of the creature as described in the document.

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Source: Gary Strickland

Minds On Physics Module

The Minds on Physics modules on the physics classroom website are wonderful as a formative, self-assessment tool.

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Source: The Physics Classroom