Design a Bobsled

3rd - 8th

Students apply their knowledge of friction, drag, mass and gravity as they design, build, and test mini-bobsleds.

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Inquiry-Based Learning

Force and Motion

Students experiment with force and motion. In this force and motion instructional activity, students test gravity using a variety of objects. Students rotate through a series of stations which use force, motion, friction, and inclines. Students predict outcomes and compare to results.

Frictional Forces

Students explore friction.  In this middle school science/mathematics lesson, students collect and analyze data as they investigate the role of frictional force on motion.  Students examine their results to see when more force was needed to move the block and note the corresponding surface. 

Force and Motion - Part 2

Students test different objects such as dominoes, marshmallows, slides, and more to test their force, motion, gravity, friction, and the concept of matter. In this force and motion lesson plan, students understand that the force an object has relates to it's matter and gravity pull.

Playing with Parachutes

This lesson plan certainly will not be a drag! Little engineers design parachutes that make use of air resistance and, as a result, slow the descent of the payload as much as possible. It is an opportunity to teach about many motion concepts: air resistance, drag, gravity, Newton's laws of motion, etc. Primaries can simply design and test, while older learners are provided with background reading, a planning page, data tables, and evaluation questions to stimulate critical thinking. This resource will inspire your learners to reach new heights!

Investigating Friction

Young learners explore friction. They view a video or DVD (bibliography provided) and define terms related to friction,and work in groups to experiment with the effects of friction on speed and motion using ramps and toy cars.

Straight Line Motion

Students examine gravity, mass, and friction. In this speed and motion lesson plan, students investigate how straight line motion is impacted by gravity, mass, and fiction as they participate in a hands-on activity.

Marbles in Motion

Fourth graders explore how to play marbles while learning the scientific concepts of force, motion, mass, acceleration, friction, and inertia.

What a Drag

Students learn examples of friction and drag, and suggest ways to reduce the impact of these forces. The equation that governs common frictional forces is introduced, and during a hands-on activity, students experimentally measure a coefficient of friction.

What a Drag!

Students demonstrate how drag affects falling objects. They create a variety of shapes out of paper, conduct an experiment in which they observe how size, shape, and weight affects the speed with which their paper shapes fall, and record the results on a worksheet.

Science: What A Drag

Students calculate frictional force after examining the different types of friction and drag. Using a box, basket, and weights, they collect friction data and measure a coefficient of static friction. In teams, they answer questions based on the lesson.

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Featured Testimonial

Lauren H.
I have used several hands-on lessons that have helped to engage my students in topics that may have been mundane to them. I do not have a text book or resources for many of the topics that I teach, and it is nice to find so many resources in one place.
Lauren H., Teacher
Bowerston, OH