Lesson Plan: Power as the Rate of Work Mathematics

This lesson plan includes the objectives, prerequisites, and exclusions of the lesson teaching students how to define the power of a force as the derivative of the work done by the force.

Objectives

Students will be able to

  • understand that power is the time derivative of work,
  • distinguish between instantaneous power and average power,
  • calculate the power of a force by taking the time derivative of work,
  • calculate the power of a force by taking the time derivative of the scalar (dot) product of force and displacement,
  • calculate the amount of work done over a period of time by taking the definite integral of power.

Prerequisites

Students should already be familiar with

  • power,
  • work,
  • integration,
  • vectors,
  • scalar (dot) product.

Exclusions

Students will not cover

  • questions involving only work.

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