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Science (2015) Grade(s): 09-12 - Physics


Investigate and analyze, based on evidence obtained through observation or experimental design, the motion of an object using both graphical and mathematical models (e.g., creating or interpreting graphs of position, velocity, and acceleration versus time graphs for one- and two-dimensional motion; solving problems using kinematic equations for the case of constant acceleration) that may include descriptors such as position, distance traveled, displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration.

Unpacked Content

Scientific and Engineering Practices

Planning and Carrying out Investigations

Crosscutting Concepts

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity


Students know:
  • How to use mathematical computations to solve for the motion of an object.
  • How to analyze both linear and nonlinear graphs of motion.
  • Laboratory safety procedures.
  • Appropriate units of measure.
  • Basic trigonometric functions of sine, cosine and tangent.
  • How to determine area under a curve on a graph.


Students are able to:
  • Manipulate kinematic equations of motion.
  • Interpret graphical data.
  • Create graphical representations of data.
  • Collect and organize experimental data.
  • Follow written and verbal instructions.
  • Make measurements of distance and time using standard units.
  • Manipulate laboratory equipment.
  • Work safely in collaborative lab groups.


Students understand that:
  • The motion of an object can be predicted using mathematical models and graphical models.


  • model
  • graph
  • instant
  • interval
  • position
  • velocity
  • acceleration
  • displacement
  • distance
  • speed
  • average speed
  • average velocity
  • experimental design
  • kinematic equations
  • investigation
  • analyze
  • trajectory
  • projectile
  • range
  • slope
  • area under curve
  • intercepts
  • vector
  • scalar
  • coordinates
  • origin
  • magnitude
  • units of measure
  • significant figures
  • trigonometric functions