# Mechanics: A Level

Resources to support the teaching and learning of mechanics topics at advanced level.

### Interpreting Distance-Time Graphs with a Computer A5

In this resource students learn to interpret and construct distance–time graphs; relating speeds to gradients of the graphs and accelerations to changes in these speeds. Students have often constructed distance–time graphs before. However, experience shows that many still interpret them as if they are pictures of situations rather than abstract representations. In addition, they also find it difficult to interpret the significance of the gradients of these graphs. In this session, students begin by discussing a question that is designed to reveal common misconceptions about distance–time graphs. They then work in pairs and threes to match descriptions, graphs and tables. As they do this, they will interpret their meaning and begin to link the representations together.

### Interpreting Distance – Time Graphs A6 *suitable for home teaching*

In this resource students learn to interpret and construct distance–time graphs; relating speeds to gradients of the graphs and accelerations to changes in these speeds. Students have often constructed distance–time graphs before. However, experience shows that many still interpret them as if they are pictures of situations rather than abstract representations. In addition, they also find it difficult to interpret the significance of the gradients of these graphs. In this session, students begin by discussing a question that is designed to reveal common misconceptions about distance–time graphs. They then work in pairs and threes to match descriptions, graphs and tables. As they do this, they will interpret their meaning and begin to link the representations together.

### Exploring Mechanics

Student material 1: what happens if? consists of 60 problems designed to test the students’ understanding of the basic concepts of, and basic ideas in, mechanics. Presented, is a simple physical situation requiring the students to describe qualitatively what will happen. A mathematical approach may also be appropriate for some problems.

Student material 2: short investigations contains short investigations which will illustrate the application of mechanics to various situations and provide the opportunity to develop good modelling skills.

### Mechanics 1

The approach in this Nuffield Advanced Mathematics books was one of guided modelling supported by practical work. In each investigation, students were expected to:

• define the problem that you are going to investigate

• set up a mathematical model of the situation

• analyse the situation mathematically

• translate the solution into everyday language

• use the solution to make predictions

• validate the solution and model.

Contents

Modelling motion

Modelling forces

Newtonian modelling

Summaries and exercises

Extended problems

### Mechanics 2

As with Mechanics 1, the approach in this Nuffield Advanced Mathematics book was one of guided modelling supported by practical work with the same expectations that, in each investigation students would:

• define the problem that you are going to investigate

• set up a mathematical model of the situation

• analyse the situation mathematically

• translate the solution into everyday language

• use the solution to make predictions

• validate the solution and model.

Contents

Rigid bodies

Work and energy

Modelling collisions

Summaries and exercises

Real problems

### Mechanics in Action

Mechanics in Action is an introduction to using practical approaches to teaching mechanics. It includes a background to modeling and 53 practical investigations with photocopyable worksheets and teachers' notes.

### Realistic Applications in Mechanics

Produced by the Spode Group with the intention of providing a collection of applications for teachers and students to be able to appreciate relevant uses of mechanics.

The applications include:

• N men in a boat - components and moment forces

• High jump techniques - projectiles, impulse, centre of mass

• The shot putter's problem - projectiles

• The long golf drive - impulse, momentum, collisions

• Design of speed bumps - kinematics

• Emergency stops - kinematics, Newton's laws of motion

### The Teacher's Guide to the Leeds Mechanics Kit

This Mechanics in Action Project guide offers suggestions of practical activities for teaching mechanics that use the Leeds Mechanics Kit. The investigations focus on the modeling cycle.

This guide, for use with the Leeds Mechanics Kit, gives a practical approach to teaching mechanics. Each chapter includes at least one complete investigation, involving practical work, which is written up according to the three-stage modeling process.

The guide features chapters on:

• Combining and Resolving Forces

• Friction

• Impact and Momentum

• Motion in a Horizontal Circle

• Motion in a Vertical Circle

• Simple Harmonic Motion

### Decision and Mechanics Materials

• Exploring equations of motion - Starting with an examination question, learners create and solve their own questions.

• Solving problems using Newton's second law - Learners create and solve their own problems by looking at different stages of solutions to mechanics problems. They then resolve mistakes and inconsistencies.

### Light Gates

This is the link to the website from where the light gates can be obtained.