These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

Exploring Mechanics

The many applications of mechanics make it an important topic of interest to applied mathematicians, scientists and engineers. This resource, produced by the Centre for Teaching Mathematics at the University of Plymouth, is designed to provide a more realistic view of mechanics and help the teaching of mechanics move towards applications and away from straight algebraic manipulation.

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.

Student material 3: long investigations contains longer investigations which delve quite deeply into the students’ understanding of a particular topic and will go beyond the basic syllabus. Each investigation has been identified by the level of mechanics needed to tackle the problem: lower suggests that the problem is appropriate fairly early on in the study of mechanics; upper suggests that a good grounding of mechanics is needed; further suggests that problems are suitable for those wishing to study beyond single subject mathematics. The area covered are: kinematics, understanding force, Newton’s laws, gravity, friction, connected particles, harmonic motion, projectiles, circular motion, momentum/collisions, rigid body statistics, centre of gravity and moments of inertia.

Student material 4: mechanics hints and nudges provides ‘hints and nudges’ for students. It is intended that these should be given out if a group experiences difficulties while tackling an investigation. They provide a more structured route through an investigation for those who need it. The teacher material provides solutions to the problems contained in the student materials.

Show health and safety information

Please be aware that resources have been published on the website in the form that they were originally supplied. This means that procedures reflect general practice and standards applicable at the time resources were produced and cannot be assumed to be acceptable today. Website users are fully responsible for ensuring that any activity, including practical work, which they carry out is in accordance with current regulations related to health and safety and that an appropriate risk assessment has been carried out.

Information on the permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category Three Content section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions.

Lists that tag this content

Kinematics, POSTED BY