 # Speed

In this worksheet, students will look at how to determine the speed of an object. Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Physics: Motion and Forces

Curriculum subtopic:   Describing Motion

Difficulty level:   ### QUESTION 1 of 10

Speed is the measurement of how far an object travels in a specific time. So, to determine the speed of an object, there are two measurements that are required:

• The distance that the object has travelled.
• The time taken to cover this distance.

When these measurements have been taken, then the speed can be calculated using the following equation. Example One: A car travelling on a motorway covers a distance of 200 metres in just four seconds. How fast is the car travelling?

The speed is equal to 200 ÷ 4 = 50 m/s (metres per second)

Example Two: A motorbike travels a distance of 150 miles in 2.5 hours. What was the bike's average speed?

The speed is equal to 150 ÷ 2.5 = 60 mph (miles per hour)

The speed calculated by this method is an average speed because the car or bike may have been accelerating or decelerating or both over the distance.

Metres per second (m/s) is a commonly used unit to measure speed, but you are probably more familiar with miles per hour (mph) or kilometers per hour (kmh) when referring to the speed of cars. All of the units for speed are a distance unit divided by a time unit.

Which of the following is the correct equation to calculate average speed?

speed = time ÷ distance

speed = distance + time

speed = distance ÷ time

speed = time - distance

Which of the following is not a unit used to measure speed?

miles per hour

metres per second

kilograms per hour

kilometres per hour

Write the missing word in the answer box below which completes this sentence (which is referring to the speed = distance ÷ time equation).

The speed calculated by this method is called the __________ speed.

What is the average speed of a car that travels 200 miles in 5 hours?

_______ miles per hour

(just write the number)

Olympic athlete Usain Bolt ran the hundred metres in 9.58 seconds.

Get your calculators out for this one ... what was his average speed?

________ metres per second

(Write just the number, to one decimal place)

Olympic long-distance runner Mo Farah ran the 10 000m in just over 1650 seconds, to win the gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

What was his average speed?

_______ metres per second

(Write just the number, to one decimal place)

The Bugatti Veyron, one of the fastest production cars in the world when it was in production, is capable of traveling 127 miles in half an hour. What is the car's top speed?

________ miles per hour

(Just write the number)

Complete the following sentence by typing the missing word into the text box below.

All the units for speed are a ___________ unit divided by a time unit.

• Question 1

Which of the following is the correct equation to calculate average speed?

speed = distance ÷ time
EDDIE SAYS
Speed = distance ÷ time is the correct equation. If you think of m/s it makes sense: m (distance) then / (divided by) then s (time - in seconds).
• Question 2

Which of the following is not a unit used to measure speed?

kilograms per hour
EDDIE SAYS
Kilograms are unit used to measure mass not distance.
• Question 3

Write the missing word in the answer box below which completes this sentence (which is referring to the speed = distance ÷ time equation).

The speed calculated by this method is called the __________ speed.

average
EDDIE SAYS
The speed calculated is the average speed. That's because in any journey, by whatever means of travel, the vehicle has to get up to speed, brake, accelerate, etc. and so between point A and point B it's usual to take an average speed, made up of many different speeds.
• Question 4

What is the average speed of a car that travels 200 miles in 5 hours?

_______ miles per hour

(just write the number)

40
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get that? The speed is equal to 200 ÷ 5 = 40. So that's 200 miles in 5 hours, working out as 40mph.
• Question 5

Olympic athlete Usain Bolt ran the hundred metres in 9.58 seconds.

Get your calculators out for this one ... what was his average speed?

________ metres per second

(Write just the number, to one decimal place)

10.4
EDDIE SAYS
The speed is equal to 100 ÷ 9.58 = 10.4 (m/s) which, I think you'll agree, is pretty rapid!
• Question 6

Olympic long-distance runner Mo Farah ran the 10 000m in just over 1650 seconds, to win the gold medal in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

What was his average speed?

_______ metres per second

(Write just the number, to one decimal place)

6.1
EDDIE SAYS
The speed is equal to 10000 ÷ 1650 = 6.1 (m/s). Think about why the question gave you such a weirdly large number of seconds and what it would be in minutes.
• Question 7

The Bugatti Veyron, one of the fastest production cars in the world when it was in production, is capable of traveling 127 miles in half an hour. What is the car's top speed?

________ miles per hour

(Just write the number)

254
EDDIE SAYS
The speed is equal to 127 ÷ 0.5 = 254mph. Or, to put it another way, if the car can do 127 miles in half an hour, how far can it travel in twice the time? Mind you, it'll have run out of fuel way before then! That's the trouble with some Maths questions - problems with the real world!
• Question 8

Complete the following sentence by typing the missing word into the text box below.

All the units for speed are a ___________ unit divided by a time unit.

distance
EDDIE SAYS
Units for speed involve a distance unit, such as metres, being divided by a time; for example, metres per second (m/s).
---- OR ----

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