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.


This resource is designed to enable students to be able to describe the differences between scalar and vector quantities, be able to calculate velocity, acceleration and distance covered and to be able to calculate resultant velocity of parallel vectors and vectors at right angles to each other. Students view a video of a lifeboat launch and an extract about the St. Ives lifeboat being called out to rescue a broken down fishing vessel. Students are required to interpret a distance – time graph and calculate average speed. Students interpret a velocity – time graph to compare the performance of two different types of lifeboat and calculate acceleration and deceleration rates. Velocity; a vector quantity and speed; a scalar quantity are discussed in the lead up to exploring resultant velocity by considering the boat’s velocity and the tidal stream. Students use Pythagoras’ theorem and trigonometry to calculate the resultant velocity of the lifeboat.

Please note, there is no audio track included on this video.

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 creators and permitted use of this resource is covered by the Category Three Materials - Community Resources section in STEM Learning’s Terms and conditions