# Physical Science

Speed and Velocity

Can some one provide me hands on activities for my students to explain the difference between speed and velocity?

Sofia Cano
55 Activity Points

I'm glad that you are looking for ways to show students, and not just tell them, the difference between speed and velocity. I start off with a picture of my car and its speedometer and compass and a map of my trip to school that morning. I then define speed and velocity and provide formulas. We review how to write the formula, substitute and give the answer with units. Students in partners then write down my speed and velocity at several points along my trip as I walk around and check for understanding. I put my students into cooperative groups of 4 with foam pipe insulation cut in half (I get this at any hardware store or Walmart)and a marble and ask them to set up and sketch the marble rolling through the pipe insulation in three different ways. I let them use masking tape and attach the pipe insulation to the walls, but they can also just hold it. For each set up they must calculate the speed and velocity. It's a simple idea and they easily master the vocabulary! I hope you try the pipe insulation. It's inexpensive and fun!

Susan Farmer
1420 Activity Points

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