February 20, 2022, is the day of the Daytona 500. So, for all you NASCAR fans out there – Start Your Engines!
In the spirit of the start of the NASCAR season this month, I decided to put together a free printable on calculating speed. This printable is designed for 6th-grade science, and it is in keeping with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS). Now, although this is for science class, it does include how to do the math calculations by providing the formula for speed. This worksheet can also be used for older students, especially 8th grade as it provides the calculations that 8th graders need to pass the STAAR here in Texas.
How Fast is Fast? Speed Calculation Worksheets
When I created this resource, I started by providing definitions of motion and speed.
Motion is defined as the action of moving or changing position.
Speed is defined as how fast an object is moving; the rate at which an object moves from point A to point B. Speed is measured as the distance moved in a set period of time, such as miles per hour (mph), meters per second (m/sec), or kilometers per hour (km/hr).
Simplifying the definition of speed, the speed formula is:
Speed = Distance / Time
When calculating the average speed of an object, we look at the variables of distance traveled and the time it took to get to the destination. Of course, you want to make sure to use the correct units. For instance, the average speed of a car will be measured in miles per hour (mph), as in the speed limit on the highways in the United States at 65 mph. However, for the speed of the snail, we will measure speed in centimeters per second (cm/sec), as it moves so much slower.
Once your students have mastered how to calculate speed, they are ready to bring in the concept of velocity and acceleration, taught as part of the 8th-grade TEKS in Texas.
As a quick reference, velocity is the speed of an object in a particular direction. For instance, an airplane traveling at 500 mph west references both the speed of the airplane and the direction of travel.
Acceleration is defined as the rate at which velocity changes with time, in terms of both speed and direction. Acceleration is calculated as the change in velocity divided by the change in time. Acceleration can equate to an object speeding up (positive acceleration) or slowing down (negative acceleration).
As you can see, being able to accurately calculate speed is the basis of being able to discuss the velocity and acceleration of an object.
With this free printable packet, I have provided you with the worksheets, as well as the answer key with the solutions to the word problems and speed problem worksheets.
I hope that you find this resource helpful in teaching the concept of speed and that you add it to your lesson plans.
Here are some other fun educational packets for the following topics with quick links:
- Presidents Day Writing Prompts (3 skill levels)
- Fact or Opinion Writing for Grades 3 – 5
- Reading Logs for Grades 3 – 8
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