Learning objects Accelerate

TLF ID L1188

Pilot a spaceship in deep space. Investigate how the thrust of the engines and the mass of the ship affect its acceleration. Discover how these concepts are related as explained by Newton's second law of motion. Find out how friction affects the motion of the spacecraft. Examine velocity-time line graphs showing acceleration as the gradient. This learning object is a combination of three learning objects in the same series.

Educational details

Key learning objectives
  • Students distinguish between the concepts of speed and acceleration.
  • Students explore relationships between acceleration, force and mass.
  • Students interpret and apply a mathematical statement of Newton's second law of motion.
  • Students analyse number patterns in data tables to support Newton's second law of motion.
  • Students predict how the motion of an object is affected by changes in forces applied, including friction, and the mass of the object.
Educational value
  • Introduces SI units for velocity, acceleration, force and mass.
  • Introduces velocity versus time line graphs; explains that the slope of the line indicates acceleration.
  • Encourages students to interpret velocity versus time line graphs.
  • Enables students to generate and interpret data that support Newton's second law of motion.
  • Includes an option to print a table of results for the force and mass tasks.
Year level


Learning area
  • science
  • Science/Physical sciences
  • Science/Science understanding
    • Science/Newton's Laws
    • Science/Motion
    • Science/Force
    • Knowledge;
    • Comprehension;
    • Application;
    • Analysis
    Student activity
    • Interactives;
    • Experiment;
    • Analysis;
    • Modelling;
    • Data manipulation and interpretation
    Learning design
    • Experiential learning;
    • Independent learning;
    • Problem solving;
    • Visual learning

    Other details

    • Script writer
    • Name: Rod Rees
    • Organisation: Rees Films Pty Ltd
    • Address: Blackburn VIC Australia
    • Technical implementer
    • Publisher
    • Date of contribution: 28 Jan 2014
    • Organisation: Education Services Australia
    • Address: Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia
    • URL: http://www.esa.edu.au/
    • Subject matter expert
    • Name: Graham Coghill
    • Address: Marcus Beach QLD 4573 Australia
    Access profile
    • Colour independence
    • Device independence
    • Hearing independence
    • Generic
    Learning resource type
    • Interactive Resource
    • Microsoft Internet Explorer - minimum version: 8.0 (MS-Windows) - maximum version: 9.0 (MS-Windows)
    • Firefox - minimum version: (MS-Windows)
    • Safari - minimum version: 5.1 (MacOS)
    Operating systems
    • MacOS - minimum version: 10.6
    • MS-Windows - minimum version: XP - maximum version: 7
    • © Education Services Australia Ltd, 2013, except where indicated under Acknowledgements.