Forces and Motion

The average American will move 12 times, which results in a lot of moving furniture! Class members consider the forces required to move objects with a creative simulation that opens with the forces required to push a filing cabinet. Next, pupils create an applied force and see the resulting forces presented in graphs. The simulation concludes with an introduction to free body diagrams, gravitational forces, and normal forces.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Start with two heavy boxes, one placed on the floor and another placed on a rolling scooter, cart, or chair; ask class members which will be easier to move across the room, and then have them expand on which forces are at play and why there is such a big difference
Classroom Considerations

  • Requires Java 1.5.0_15 or later for all Windows and Linux computers and Java 1.5.0_19 or later for all Macintosh computers
  • Simulation fits well right before teaching free body diagrams
Pros

  • Provides links to many activities created by teachers that all used this simulation
  • Translates activity into 51 languages to assist ELLs
  • Offers an overview of the simulation controls for quick reference
Cons

  • None