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Flipping for Force and Motion!

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Keywords: Force, motion
Subject(s): Science
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: George Junior High School, Rosenberg, TX
Planned By: Misty Ortega
Original Author: Misty Ortega, Rosenberg
LINKS/TEKS: 8.6(C) TSW demonstrate and calculate how unbalanced forces change the speed or direction of an object’s motion.

Essential Questions:
• What causes movement? Why would people not move the same way on the moon ?
• Give everyday examples of a force.

• A force is any push or pull.
• A force must be applied to an object in order to get it to move (unbalanced).
• If the force is balanced, that will not result in movement.
• Speed = distance / time (triangle)
• Newton’s laws

Students will get in groups of 3. Each group will be given a small stack of assorted coins (about 10 coins). One student will position the stack on the top of their elbow. The object of the activity is to let the coins go, but try to catch them in their right hand. If students are not successful, they will get critiques from their partners. If they are successful, they will add coins to their stack to see what their limit is. The teacher will go around and document the trials on the flipcam. Time limit: 10 minutes. Students will keep flipcams with their group to use them throughout the lesson.

Students will work in groups of 3-4. Each group will be given a toy car, and several other objects (a rubber band, a golf ball, a string, a wooden block, and an index card inside of a cup). Their task is to come up with as many ways as possible to move the toy car using only objects provided inside of the cup. One student will record the findings, while another uses a flipcam to document their methods. Time limit: 15 minutes. Discuss the methods used to make the car move. Make a chart on the smart board.

Discuss as a class what happened in the previous two experiences. What caused the cars to move? What caused the coins to fall? Based on student observations, make a student generated definition for force and illustrate it in their notebook. Ask students to apply a force to a large wooden ball on their desk (roll the ball). Derive Newton’s 1st law from this. Have students roll a large, heavy metal ball across the desk. Derive Newton’s 2nd law from that. For Newton’s 3rd law, students will make the balls crash into each other. They will generate definitions for all three laws and write and illustrate them in their notebooks. Give students a piece of construction paper and ask them to roll the wooden ball. What slowed it down? Introduce the formula for speed, and discuss why the wooden ball rolled with greater speed when it was on the desk. Then, revisit the metal ball’s movement. Students should use flipcams with their group to summarize what they just learned using the wooden ball and metal ball. Time: 45 minutes.

Students will break into groups of 4. The groups will go around the room to complete stations using various toys to demonstrate Newton’s laws. They will document each station and answer questions orally using the flipcams. (60 minutes)
• Clackers – students will use clackers and observe.
• Laptop station - students will be introduced to calculating speed in an online activity
• Simple car and ramp station with toy person – make observations and apply Newton’s laws
• Ipod station – each student will get an Ipod and watch a short video about force and soccer. Students will reflect on how force and sports and respond in their notebook or classroom blog.
• Friction station
• Tug o’ War station (unbalanced forces)

Students will upload their flipcam footage to a laptop. They will put the video footage together to make a brief movie in Microsoft Movie Maker. Essential questions should be discussed within the video. Videos will be shared with the class, and the class will come up with what they think is important about force and motion.
Materials: Whiteboards, Flash Memory Camcorders, Flip Video, Short Throw Projectors, Projector Screens, Digital Voice Recorders, Video Tools, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Science, Middle, ESL, Office Suite, Word Processor