published by
the Physics Education Technology Project
written by
Katherine K. Perkins and
Carl E. Wieman

This is a set of homework questions developed for use with the PhET simulation "The Moving Man". It assesses student understanding of position, velocity, and acceleration graphs. It was designed for implementation in cooperative learning groups. Most of the questions are in multiple-choice format, with a few requiring short written responses. This resource has been used in large-enrollment classes, but is also appropriate for algebra-based high school physics courses.

Please note that this resource requires
at least version 1.4, Java WebStart of
Java.

6-8: 4F/M3a. An unbalanced force acting on an object changes its speed or direction of motion, or both.

9-12: 4F/H1. The change in motion (direction or speed) of an object is proportional to the applied force and inversely proportional to the mass.

9-12: 4F/H8. Any object maintains a constant speed and direction of motion unless an unbalanced outside force acts on it.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships

6-8: 9B/M3. Graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables. As one variable increases uniformly, the other may do one of the following: increase or decrease steadily, increase or decrease faster and faster, get closer and closer to some limiting value, reach some intermediate maximum or minimum, alternately increase and decrease, increase or decrease in steps, or do something different from any of these.

9-12: 9B/H1b. Sometimes the rate of change of something depends on how much there is of something else (as the rate of change of speed is proportional to the amount of force acting).

11. Common Themes

11B. Models

6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.

6-8: 11B/M6. A model can sometimes be used to get ideas about how the thing being modeled actually works, but there is no guarantee that these ideas are correct if they are based on the model alone.

9-12: 11B/H3. The usefulness of a model can be tested by comparing its predictions to actual observations in the real world. But a close match does not necessarily mean that other models would not work equally well or better.

Common Core State Standards for Mathematics Alignments

Expressions and Equations (6-8)

Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between
dependent and independent variables. (6)

6.EE.9 Use variables to represent two quantities in a real-world problem that change in relationship to one another; write an equation to express one quantity, thought of as the dependent variable, in terms of the other quantity, thought of as the independent variable. Analyze the relationship between the dependent and independent variables using graphs and tables, and relate these to the equation.

Functions (8)

Define, evaluate, and compare functions. (8)

8.F.1 Understand that a function is a rule that assigns to each input exactly one output. The graph of a function is the set of ordered pairs consisting of an input and the corresponding output.

Use functions to model relationships between quantities. (8)

8.F.5 Describe qualitatively the functional relationship between two quantities by analyzing a graph (e.g., where the function is increasing or decreasing, linear or nonlinear). Sketch a graph that exhibits the qualitative features of a function that has been described verbally.

High School — Functions (9-12)

Linear, Quadratic, and Exponential Models^{?} (9-12)

F-LE.1.b Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.

F-LE.5 Interpret the parameters in a linear or exponential function in terms of a context.

<a href="http://www.compadre.org/portal/items/detail.cfm?ID=8304">Perkins, Katherine, and Carl Wieman. PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Motion and Moving Man Simulation Homework. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, January 14, 2008.</a>

K. Perkins and C. Wieman, PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Motion and Moving Man Simulation Homework, (Physics Education Technology Project, Boulder, 2008), <http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/3081>.

Perkins, K., & Wieman, C. (2008, January 14). PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Motion and Moving Man Simulation Homework. Retrieved October 21, 2014, from Physics Education Technology Project: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/3081

Perkins, Katherine, and Carl Wieman. PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Motion and Moving Man Simulation Homework. Boulder: Physics Education Technology Project, January 14, 2008. http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/3081 (accessed 21 October 2014).

%0 Electronic Source %A Perkins, Katherine %A Wieman, Carl %D January 14, 2008 %T PhET Teacher Ideas & Activities: Motion and Moving Man Simulation Homework %I Physics Education Technology Project %V 2014 %N 21 October 2014 %8 January 14, 2008 %9 text/html %U http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/3081

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