Graphing Speed / Name ______
Date ______
Essential Questions
1. How do we calculate and communicate the change in position, direction and speed for moving objects?
2. How do unbalanced forces affect the motion of an object? / Vocabulary
(New) velocity
(Review)force, unbalanced force, speed, distance, motion, acceleration / Objectives
  1. Calculate speed, average speed, and velocity.
  2. Measure and graph changes in motion.
  3. Differentiate between speed, velocity, and acceleration.

Is it possible to make a graph that shows motion? How would you do this? Let’s find out.

  1. Go to the following website:
  2. Scroll to the middle of the screen until you see a spaceship.
  3. Read the directions and press ready.
  4. Quickly, check the box that says “Add/Remove Planets” at the top of the screen.
  5. Move the spaceship forward for about 3 seconds.
  6. Move the space ship down for about 3 seconds.
  7. Try changing the speed of the space ship as you move it forwards.
  8. Move the space ship forwards, backwards, up and down in the same direction for at least 3 seconds each until you reach the mother ship.

Look at the graph you created. Choose any point on the graph. Click the point. You will see a set of numbers. The first number in the set represents the Time in seconds. The second number is the Distance that was traveled. Choose any four points on the graph. For each point record your data in the table below.

Time (seconds) / Distance (km) / Speed (km/s) / Acceleration (km/s)

Answer the following questions in complete sentences.

You may make a graph on the computer again if you need more practice.

  1. How does the line on the graph look when your space ship is traveling fast?
  1. How does the line on the graph look when your space ship is traveling slowly?
  1. How does the line on the graph look when the space ship is traveling backwards (away from the mother ship)?
  1. How does the line look when the ship is not traveling towards the spaceship (traveling up or down).
  1. What is the difference between speed and acceleration?

Use what you learned to answer the following question.

  1. The graph shows the movement of a car over time. What is the car’s average speed? Show your work.
  1. 10 kilometers per hour
  2. 15 kilometers per hour
  3. 30 kilometers per hour
  4. 60 kilometers per hour