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Pearson / ActivOnline Physics: Kinematics Simulation Activities

July 22, 2014

I stumbled across a decent simulation, while I was reading up about ISLE. The simulation can be found here:

http://media.pearsoncmg.com/bc/aw_young_physics_11/pt1a/Media/DescribingMotion/AnalyMotUsingDiag/Main.html

I think these simple kinematics simulations are pretty cool, especially the four problems at end, where you have to adjust the initial position, initial velocity, and initial acceleration to match the motion map. Nothing fancy, but pretty engaging.

Content Learning: It’s a nice bridge between qualitative and quantitative representation of kinematics, supporting mathematical sense-making rather than plug-and-chug approaches. It would likely support students distinguishing between position, velocity, and acceleration. It would also provide students with opportunities to wrestle with the meaning of algebraic sign for each of those quantities.

Pedagogical Affordances: The sequence begins with observations and moves toward application. It’s game-like in a productive way–fun, challenging, easy to jump into and try, and provides immediate feedback. You’d probably just have to help students from mindlessly manipulating values to match the motion.

The full range of simulations, which I haven’t looked at closely is linked here: http://wps.aw.com/aw_young_physics_11/

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