Direct Measurement Videos > Activities

Activity Library

Notes for Teachers

Use the Student Video Library to allow students to access the videos without links to instructor materials.

Some videos are no longer freely available. But the activities are still useful for reference and can be adapted for other videos, or for a live classroom demo or hands-on lab.

All videos are available at the new Pivot Interactives platform, which offers new videos, new features, built-in graphing, classroom-ready activities, and tools to modify, assign, and grade student work.

Free trial accounts are available.

Here is a set of activities that can be used with Direct Measurement Videos. Each activity includes context for use, student instructions, teaching tips and assessment ideas.

Introducing your class to Direct Measurement Video

Introduction to using Direct Measurement Video: Determine the speed of a roller coaster

Challenging your class with Direct Measurement Videos

Physics Face-off uses teams of students who attempt to stump other teams by creating and solving challenging questions based on the videos.

One Dimensional Motion

Introduction to using Direct Measurement Video: Determine the speed of a roller coaster
Note that this activity is well-suited to use for the students' first experience with Direct Measurement Videos.

Student Analysis: Determine the acceleration of a toy car

Using Direct Measurement Video to find the acceleration of a rocket-powered cart (this video is no longer freely available)

How fast is that: ice skaters (this video is no longer freely available)

Keep in time

Curiosity launch

Two Dimensional Motion

Student analysis of a bouncing ball

2-D motion with constant velocity (this video is no longer freely available)

Forces and Motion

Einstein riding the graviton

Airplane on a string (conical pendulum)

Student analysis of a cart rolling down a ramp

Direct Measurement Video analysis: friction of a block sliding down a ramp

Student analysis of a sliding and rolling ball (this video is no longer freely available)

Student analysis of a hockey slap shot

Car sliding across an ice rink (this video is no longer freely available)

Person sliding on ice (this video is no longer freely available)

The wave


Using a Direct Measurement Video to find rotational inertia of a bicycle wheel

Impulse and Momentum

Direct Measurement Video analysis: blow-dart collides with cart (this video is no longer freely available)

Conservation of linear and angular momentum


Mechanical Energy in a Pendulum

Cart rolling down ramp into a spring

Student analysis of a person jumping on a trampoline


Keep in time


The Direct Measurement Video project has become Pivot Interactives, an educational resources company run by the same dedicated physics teachers who've been developing DMVs since in 2010. We're more committed than ever to bringing powerful teaching tools to students and instructors everywhere.

Our free service on the SERC website will come to an end on June 1, 2018. We invite you to subscribe to Pivot Interactives where you'll find new functionalities. For example, the new learning platform includes integrated, modifiable instructions, data tables with calculated columns, graphing with linear fit, and enhanced grading tools, ...not to mention a boatload of really cool new videos. This integrated platform is far more powerful and effective than videos alone. We hope that if you've had success with DMVs you'll try a free 30-day trial of the new videos and easy-to-use teacher tools.

What teachers say about Pivot Interactives:

"The new Pivot Interactives platform is an impressive leap over just having the videos only. I'll use the new PI platform in my AP Physics class more than I would use the original Direct Measurement Videos alone. " -Alan Calac, Abraham Lincoln High School. San Francisco, California

Pivot Interactives is a game changer. The price is reasonable and you can build a physics curriculum around them. The new tools in Pivot Interactives are wonderful and give more independence to the students. -Tim Taylor, Stratton Mountain School; Stratton, Vermont

"I've made it my official teaching goal this year to replace as many textbook-style homework problems as possible with Pivot exercises. Everything I see on the site is something that makes me say 'wow'. I highly recommend." -Greg Jacobs Woodberry Forest School, Woodberry Forest, VA 22989

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