Conceptual Physics - Velocity/Acceleration
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Lab | Reading Assignment

This Unit's
Process Standards: 3.3, 3.5, 4.3, 4.7, 4.8, 5.1, 5.2, 6.1, 6.4
Content Standards: 2.1, 2.2, 3.1
Instructional Technology Standards: 2.1, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

vocabulary for the week
  • Acceleration
  • Negative acceleration
  • Centripetal acceleration
  • Deceleration
  • Centrifugal force

Truck Crash
Acceleration: The rate of change in velocity.

click to find the answer to today's question At what rate does gravity accelerate falling objects?

Read this standardized test practice passage and answer the questions.
You have six and a half minutes to complete the assignment.

Acceleration = (Final Velocity) - (Original Velocity) / Time

A = Vf - Vo / t

Acceleration Practice Problem:
  1. A car going 50mph accelerates to pass a truck. Five seconds later the car is going 80mph. Calculate the acceleration of the car.
click for a career
Racing Engineer

A term commonly used to mean a decrease in speed.
Acceleration in a direction opposite to the direction of travel.

Deceleration is negative acceleration and has a negative value to indicate direction.

Deceleration Practice Problem:
  1. An object traveling 200 feet per second slows to 50 feet per second in 5 seconds. Calculate the acceleration of the object.

Experimentlink to an Internet Websitewith speed and acceleration.

Computer Assignment 201:
This assignment must be completed by the end of class today to receive credit.

  1. Use Google to find a picture of the funny car driven by John Force.
  2. Drag and drop this picture onto a Microsoft Word page.
  3. Use this type of WordArt to type "Acceleration" to the right of the picture.
  4. Work both of the acceleration problems below on the Word page.
    • For each problem, type the formula for acceleration.
    • Re-type the formula with the numbers from the problem.
    • Use the calculator on your computer to find each answer.
    • Type the answer.
Acceleration Problems:
  1. The christmas tree light turns green and 4.5 seconds later a top fuel dragster is traveling 300 miles per hour. Calculate the acceleration of the dragster.
  2. You are driving down the road at 65 miles per hour when you appy the brakes to avoid an accident. Ten seconds later you have brought the car to a stop. What was your acceleration?
Show the Word page to your science facilitator when finished.

Day 2

click to find the answer to today's question A graph of acceleration always has what shape?

acceleration graph

the key points to useful information on this page

Distance - Time Graph for Acceleration:

Day 3

click to find the answer to today's question The Earth is accelerating toward what object?

Centripetal Acceleration: Acceleration toward the center of a circular path.

What happenslink to an Internet Websitewhen things spin?

Centrifugal Force link to an Internet Website link to an Internet Website An apparent force that appears only in rotating frames of reference.

It is more correct to think of centrifugal force as a lack of centripetal acceleration.
Concept Understanding:

  1. A car is traveling down the highway at a constant velocity. Using centripetal acceleration, describe what happens when the steering wheel is turned?
  2. Use the centrifugal force websites above to answer the next two questions:
    1. A car goes into a sharp left-hand curve at a high rate of speed. Does the passenger in the car move against the car door, or does the car door move against the passenger?
    2. What have you learned about circular motion that caused you to answer the way you did?

With your table, ask your facilitator for a one-hole rubber stopper and a one meter length of string. Tie the string through the hole in the stopper and, standing in a clear space, swing the string in a flat circle over your head.

  • Answer the following questions about the actions of the stopper.
    1. Describe what the stopper is doing.
    2. What provides the acceleration to the stopper?
    3. What happens if you release the string while swinging it around?
    4. Why does this happen?

Physical Science

Gravity accelerates objects near the surface of the Earth at a rate of 9.8 m/s2.
This means that for every second an object falls, its speed increases by 9.8 m/s.

A graph of acceleration is always a curve.

The earth orbits the sun. This means the earth is accelerating toward the sun.