Force and Motion: Position and Motion

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Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object is the first of four Science Objects in the Force and Motion SciPack. It provides an understanding of how changes in position and motion can affect the way objects move, focusing on constant motion (where the direction and speed remain the same) and acceleration (a change in motion due to a change in an object’s direction or speed). The position of an object must be described relative to some other object while the motion of an object can be described by its direction and speed. Velocity is a measure of both an object’s speed and its direction (and can be described by vectors).

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Reviews (17)
  • on Sun Feb 28, 2016 9:00 PM

Although I found the activities engaging and interesting, it seems like some of the suggestions and questions would be too much for my students. I don't have a long science block so it would take forever to work through this activity pack. I think that this would work best to take out some of the information that would fit into a teacher's style and method for teaching motion. However, it seems that this pack would be challenging for all educators to follow,

Javaye Stubbs  (Flowery Branch, GA)
Javaye Stubbs (Flowery Branch, GA)

  • on Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:55 AM

I love the use of the laws of forces and motion to explain why the slow and steady tortoise won the race! The simulation brought together all the concepts!!

Robin Willig  (Rye Brook, NY)
Robin Willig (Rye Brook, NY)

  • on Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:27 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Force and Motion: Position and Motion Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial!

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:06 PM

This resource and the ones like it are particularly valuable for me for several reasons. First, I like the table of contents off to the left, which all ow me to keep track of what is coming up and see the entire lesson at once. Also, it is multisensory...engaging several senses. Finally, they are self paced, which I really need with my busy lifestyle.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Sat Aug 08, 2009 6:52 AM

This one was kind of fun! I wish the sequence of these SO's was more obvious since it seems to help to do them in order. Some really good foundational knowledge for me to be aware of as I move forward. Good source of information!

Liz M  (Interlaken, NY)
Liz M (Interlaken, NY)

  • on Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:47 PM

This SciPac was packed full of information. Slow and steady always wins the race! Yes! Most of this was actually a review for me, but presented in a very fun way. I like how organized this SciPac is; from position, to motion, changes in motion and then how it is all tied together. The animations are very helpful in understanding position and motion!

Jessica H
Jessica H

  • on Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:59 PM

This was a good refresher science object on force and motion. The lesson included helpful information about speed, acceleration, velocity, and distance. It used the tortoise and the hare story to help explain the content which can be used in a classroom. It also covered how to calculate speed and some misconceptions about these topics.


  • on Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:37 PM

Would have liked to see something about motion diagrams, regardless, it was still quite comprehensive in it's treatment of motion and position. The values of speed, velocity, and acceleration are compared and explained in a clear manner. This module really clarified vectors and origin as far as placement. This is worth the investment of time.

Jennifer Williams
Jennifer Williams

  • on Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:12 PM

This science object was well-done. I enjoyed the walk through, and even though this was a review for me, I think it helps educators thing about the progression of their own lessons in teaching these concepts. I never know where to start when teaching forces, but realized that of course you start with position, speed, velocity, etc. just as the science object did.

Wendy Ruchti  (Pocatello, ID)
Wendy Ruchti (Pocatello, ID)

  • on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:05 PM

This science object did a very good job making the concepts more concrete and relatable. Some of the questions are difficult but that helps you work through it and learn!

Jennifer M Tanko
Jennifer M Tanko

  • on Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:55 PM

Helped me identify my own misunderstandings.

Tracey  Williams
Tracey Williams

  • on Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:41 AM

The tutorial has many self-checking questions and interactive video clips. I did enjoy the hare and tortoise video clip because it’s a story many students have heard and know that the tortoise wins the race because he had a steady pace throughout the race. The hands-on activity about rolling a ball across a smooth surface is an activity I will conduct in my classroom. I learned that when you specify the velocity of an object you must specify not only the speed but on which direction it is traveling.

Marilyn Ortiz  (Jersey City, NJ)
Marilyn Ortiz (Jersey City, NJ)

  • on Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:30 AM

This science pack was a little bit more difficult for me because I didn't have that much background knowledge of the subject matter. It really doesn't relate to many of the standards that I teach in 3rd grade. However, I think that it may be useful for students in 4th and 5th grade. So many times we do not really know how to describe and object's position and motion. I am sure students could use some clarity on this subject matter.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:52 AM

I found the lesson to be great, but the videos dare not compatible to IPAD. A great deal of the questions referred to the videos.

Myetta  (Homewood, IL)
Myetta (Homewood, IL)

  • on Fri Jul 20, 2012 11:28 AM

This tutorial was interest, but a little shy on clarity when it came to more complex concepts. The secion in which it discussed average velocity versus instantaneously velocity, was not clearly defined. Examples could have been very helpful to illustrate this.

Kelly  (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM)
Kelly (Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM)

  • on Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:59 AM

This was a very informative object. The questions were difficult to follow, and some of the animations were confusing. If you took all that out and look at the information presented to you, and especially if you are familiar with the information already, it gives you a lot of ideas to use in the classroom.

Brandy Stewart
Brandy Stewart

  • on Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:09 PM

This was really very difficult for me to understand. The videos was very helpful but I did find the concept something I would not be comfortable teaching to the students. I really would have to put a lot of time building my own knowledge about this topic.

Jean O  (Jersey City, NJ)
Jean O (Jersey City, NJ)

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