Recording Student Motion


Students learn about motion and graphs by walking toward and away from a sonic ranger while observing plots of position, velocity, and acceleration.



Principles Illustrated

Relationships between position, velocity, and acceleration versus time. Many experiments are possible!

NCEA & Science Curriculum

SCI 1.1, PHYS 2.4


Set up the motion detector and data logger and have students walk back and forth in front of the motion detector, displaying their position, velocity, and acceleration versus time in live mode. If a data projector is available the entire class can watch.

Ask students to match particular graphs of position, velocity, or acceleration versus time.

Here is a PowerPoint with some position and velocity graphs that students can try to match: PosVelMatch.ppt. Can also be used as a worksheet.


Individual teachers are responsible for safety in their own classes. Even familiar demonstrations should be practised and safety-checked by individual teachers before they are used in a classroom.

Related Resources

Teaching Resources

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PIRA 1D15.10


This teaching resource was developed with support from

The MacDiarmid Institute
Faculty of Science, Victoria University of Wellington
School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington


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