Forces and Motion

  • Forces and Motion

         During the first half of this unit, students will learn that a force is a push or pull;  they will learn that you know a force is present if an object has a change in shape, or a change in motion.  We will move on to study four of the major forces that we encounter every day:  weight, gravity, air resistance, and friction. 

         Students will learn that mass and weight are not the same thing.  Mass is simply the amount of matter in an object, whereas weight is the effect of gravity on an object's mass.  They will learn that an object's mass will remain constant, no matter where an object is located; but... an object's weight might change based on location due to different amounts of gravity. 

         Students will learn that gravity is the force of attraction between all objects with mass, and will learn about the factors that affect the amount of gravity between two objects.  Students will be asked the age old question:  "Which will fall faster, an elephant or a mouse?", and they will conduct several small experiments to discover the answer. 

         Students will learn that friction is the force that results from two objects rubbing against eachother, and will determine the two factors that affect the amount of friction between two objects.  Students will also learn that air resistance is a special kind of fluid friction.

         During the second half of this unit, we will focus on Newton's three laws of motion.  Students will conduct several experiments with the laws of motion, and will come to understand how these three basic laws affect their every day lives. 


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