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Modeling Across the Curriculum

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Mechanics Guide

Subject: Physics

Mechanics is a branch of physics that describes the motion of objects and the effect of forces on this motion.

Recommended Sequence

Since the activities increase in complexity from the first to the last, we strongly recommend that learners complete the nine core activities (Vector Treasure Hunt, Vector Motion, Motion Graphs, F=ma, Forces in 2D, Collisions and Momentum in 2D, Advanced Collisions, Balancing Forces and Gravity) in sequence as they provide necessary experience with Dynamica’s representation of key physical science concepts.

In addition to the activities, there are two surveys, a pre-test, a post-test, and embedded assessment pieces that enable the MAC project to evaluate students' progress and draw conclusions about the effectiveness of the activities.

Please make sure to administer the Pre-Test before the core activities and the Post-Test after the core activities. They are an essential part of this research project.


  1. Vector Treasure Hunt - How is displacement described?

  2. Vector Motion - How is motion described?

  3. Motion Graphs - How can graphs be used to describe motion?

  4. F=ma - How do forces affect the motion of objects with different masses?

  5. Forces in Two Dimensions - How do forces in more than one direction affect the motion of objects?

  6. Collisions and Momentum in 1D - When two items collide, what happens to their velocities?

  7. Advanced Collisions - What is momentum and how can it be used to understand collisions?

  8. Balancing Forces - What happens when many forces act on the same object?

  9. Gravity - What is the effect of the constant force of gravity on the motion of objects?

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