AS/A Physics | Using spreadsheets | Lesson plan


Aug1- Aug11 (1.5 weeks)


Using spreadsheets (i.e. MS Excel/ LibreOffice Calc) for simulations

  • to plot graphs
  • to do repetitive calculations
  • to simulate physical systems
  • to simulate chemical systems
  • to simulate biological systems
  • to help in alternate ways of solving textbook problems

Instructional Objectives

Students should be able to:

  • enter data in spreadsheets and plot pie charts
  • use the spreadhseets to do repititive calculations easily
  • learn to use inbuilt functions
  • convert real world questions into a format conducive for simulating on a spreadsheet
  • simulate a sample physical, chemical and biological system each
  • learn to convert textbook questions to spreadsheet format, to cross verify their answers

Teaching process

  • All the simulations are performed by the students themselves (not just a demonstration).
  • In situations where they havent learnt the necessary mathematics, a primer o those topics would be taught as well.


  • Plotting trigonometric functions
  • Simulating constant acceleration systems and applying equations of motion to obtain velocity-time and displacement-time graphs
  • Trying out a textbook physics problem and solving it using spreadsheets instead of doing it analytically
  • Simulating chemical equilibrium and looking at the changes in the system when the rate constants are changed
  • Observing Le Chatelier's principle using the dynamic equilibrium simulation

Suggested reading / References

Assignments / Evaluation

  • Assignment on plotting functions
  • Assignment on alternative ways of solving textbook problems
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