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Vector Scavenger Hunt

  This activity is designed to be completed in one class period. It is designed to be performed in the lab room. Working in small lab groups, students will create a vector map during the first half of the period. Each lab group will "hide" a commonplace object at the "finish" for the group following their map to find. They then will be given another group's vector map to follow during the last half of the period.

This activity is used to reinforce definitions of terms and the graphical method of vector representation and addition.


  Materials   Map Requirements
  1. Each map must consist of a minimum of five different vectors. A different vector is defined as one having a different magnitude and a different compass direction. A vector must have a minimum length of 50 cm.
  2. A different starting position is assigned for each lab group. Each lab group must clearly indicate this position on their list of vectors.
  3. Each lab group must create a vector map. This map must state the scale used, must include each vector drawn with the appropriate magnitude and direction, must include a compass rose, and must include a list of vectors. The start and finish must be noted.
 Scoring Rubric

Activity Points Awarded
Minimum of 5 vectors 30
More than 5 vectors 2 pts for each one up to a total of 10 pts
Other group successfully follows your map 10
Scale indicated on map 5
Vectors drawn "tips-to-tails" 5
Compass rose included 5
List of vectors included 5
Questions answered individually 10 pts each (or 30 pts total)


  1. What total distance did you travel as you followed the map? Explain how it was found. Show any calculations that you performed.
  2. What was your displacement? Explain how it was found. Show any calculations that you performed.
  3. How did this activity demonstrate the difference between a vector and a scalar term?

Form for submitting answers to questions