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Force and Motion Theme Page

This "Theme Page" has links to two types of resources related to the study of Force and Motion. Students and teachers will find curricular resources (information, content...) to help them learn about this topic. In addition, there are also links to instructional materials (lesson plans) which will help teachers provide instruction in this theme. Please read our disclaimer.

Amusement Park Physics
Tell your students that they're going to be learning about the balance of motion and force and Newton's Third Law of Motion and you'll receive blank stares. But, you'll get a different reaction if you announce that in their next unit they'll be learning about Amusement Park roller coasters and bumper cars. Each ride at the site has a brief description of the physics underlying it, an activity or extension (e.g., students design their own rollercoaster), and related links where students can learn more.

AskERIC Lesson Plans
Use the search engine to find several dozen lesson plans. To eliminate unwanted lesson plans, try search terms such as "force and science", or "motion and science".

Encarta Lesson Collection
There are about a dozen lesson plans on either Force or Motion in this collection. You can browse through the Science/Physics collection or use their search function to find them.

Forces and Motion Index
About 50 easy to implement lessons/activities that demonstrate Newton's Laws of Motion in action. They're organized into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced categories.

How Things Work
Brief answers to the kinds of confusing questions that students pose about the scientific principles underlying everyday events and unusual conundrums (e.g., how one can lie on a bed of nails and not get injured) . The Laws of Motion are well represented but not the only principles covered.

Links to Physics & Astronomy Lesson Plans
A large collection of links which actually go to lesson plans and not other lesson plan sites. The site is organized by grade level (elementary, middle, high school and advanced). Once you're in the grade level you want, look for the section on Force and Motion. Caution: since the lesson plans are contributed by many different organizations and authors, their quality will vary greatly.

Marbelous Rolls
Middle grade students learn about acceleration and deceleration as well as median, mean, and range in this marble rolling activity. Two worksheets are included.

An electronic text book for college preparatory physics. This link to the Mechanics Chapter has units on Kinematics, Newton's Laws, Conservation Laws, Simple Harmonic Motion, Rotational Kinematics, and Special Relativity. In addition to concise explanations of each topic, the text provides links to related web sites for additional study.

Newton's 2nd Law Lab
A description of a laboratory activity in which students are given a problem in dynamics and need to determine which motions come from which kinds of forces.

Newton's Laws Demo Page
Ideas for striking teacher demonstrations of the concepts of force, pressure, weight, inertia, transfer of momentum and energy, and Newton's Laws of Motion.

Physical Science Activity Manual
This Manual contains hands-on Chemistry & Physics activities that can be downloaded in either MAC (MS WORD) or Windows (Wordperfect) versions. The manual is neither a lab manual nor a series of lesson plans. Rather, it provides the teacher with background information and a collection of student-centered activities which s/he can adapt to local conditions. Scroll down the list of resources to find those available for Newton's First Law of Motion, How Fast Do Dominoes Fall, Acceleration (Free-Fall), Acceleration (Inclined Plane), Newton's Second Law of Motion, and Newton's Third Law of Motion.

[The] Physics Classroom
Here's a comprehensive set of on-line high school physics tutorials consisting of units, lessons, and sublessons - some of which address Force and Motion. Units contain problems for students to check their knowledge and animated GIFs to teach concepts. In addition to these tutorials, sets of resources that support teaching/learning the concepts can be accessed directly by type, for example: GIF animations and QuickTime movies, problem sets, quizzes, student activities, lab sheets, and projects.

Physics Java Applets & Shockwave Simulations
A large collection of links to sites that have Java applets and Shockwave simulations that can be used to demonstrate Physics concepts including force and motion.

Roller Coaster Physics
This web booklet provides an explanation of the principles involved in the design of a roller coaster. [These principles also have wider applications.] Activities and background topics are also included as is a downloadable copy (Acrobat format) of the entire book.

Sir Issac Newton
MacTutor's biography of Newton with lots of links to related people and topics.

Skateboard Science
The Exploratorium provides examines some fundamental skateboarding moves (the Ollie, mid-air manoeuvres, half pipes, and pumping for speed) and explains the physics principles behind them. Caution: the navigation buttons to the full explanations are labelled 'frontside" and "backside".

Smile Program Physics Index
Teachers participating in the SMILE (Science and Mathematics Initiative for Learning Enhancement) summer session programs each create a single concept lesson plan. This database has over 75 lesson plans organized under "Mechanics" - many of which deal directly with Force and/or Motion. Caution: Since there is a wide number of authors who have contributed to the database, the detail and quality of the lesson plans will vary.

What To Do After the Hands-Are-On
Five simple demonstrations for each of Newton's Laws in which students observe, collect & analyse data, and write conclusions. From GirlTech.

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Note: The sites listed above will serve as a source of curricular content in Force and Motion. For other resources in Science (e.g., curricular content in Earth Science, General Science, Life Science, or Physical Science), or for lesson plans and theme pages, click the "previous screen" button below. Or, click here if you wish to return directly to the CLN menu which will give you access to educational resources in all of our subjects.

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