7. Using Gradients to
Calculate Acceleration

Success Criteria

Your learning has been successful if you can do the following:


Learn these so you can communicate this concept well.

Lesson 4: Hei Mahi (Do Now)

Do Now:

Collect and complete this small 'Do Now'. Then glue into your SciPAD page 11. Use your commonsense when glueing - don't glue straight on-top of words!

Lesson 4: Exit Task

Find some space on page 15 of your PESS1.2 SciPAD,
and answer the following questions:

What does each letter in CUTLASS stand for? 

Finding Acceleration from a Speed-Time Graph

The gradient or slope of a speed-time graph gives you the acceleration. The gradient of a speed-time graph is calculated by the change in the speed (vertical axis) divided by the change in time (horizontal axis).


To show and find acceleration, use a graph that shows velocity against time. This is because acceleration is the change in velocity divided by the change in time. 

A car moving off from traffic lights has constant acceleration. As the seconds pass, the car increases in velocity. As it gains velocity, the car travels more road in the same time. Consider the following graphs of velocity over time. 

Tasks & Homework

Task 1: PESS1.2 SciPAD

Page 14 - Calculating Speed from a Distance-Time Graph

Page 15 - New Zealand Secondary Schools Rally Team


Access your own copy of this homework task on Microsoft Teams. 

Homework - 7. Finding Acceleration