Design a Bobsled

3rd - 8th

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

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Inquiry-Based Learning

Engineered Sports

After reading to learn about golf ball aerodynamics, eager engineers put their minds together to apply their new knowledge to an aerospace design challenge. Additionally, they work in teams to predict and test the bounce heights of different balls, then share their results with the class. Each activity is followed by reflection questions to further develop the thought processes.

Force and Motion

Students experiment with force and motion. In this force and motion lesson, 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.

Playing with Parachutes

This lesson 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!

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Straight Line Motion

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

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.

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