This virtual lab was developed by a high school teacher specifically for use with the PhET simulation "Motion in 2D". It provides explicit direction for using the simulation to explore vector quantities, vector addition, and calculating resultants. In the last half of the activity, students demonstrate understanding by performing specific calculations, then using the simulation to check their work. The lesson includes printable student data tables. The associated simulation (which must be running to complete this activity) is available from PhET at: Motion in 2D. Editor's Note: This lesson provides guided instruction to help students stay on task as they explore vector quantities with the simulation. It then takes the learner to the next level: can they apply what they learned to perform the calculations to find vector resultants?


  • Education > General
  • Mathematics > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 1
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Update Standards?

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.A: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Represent and model with vector quantities.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.A.2: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

(+) Find the components of a vector by subtracting the coordinates of an initial point from the coordinates of a terminal point.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.B: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Perform operations on vectors.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.B.4: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

(+) Add and subtract vectors.

CCSS.Math.Content.HSN-VM.B.4b: Common Core State Standards for Mathematics

Given two vectors in magnitude and direction form, determine the magnitude and direction of their sum.
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