UNIT 1: Motion and Forces – MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU!

We’re now a few weeks in and learning more each day! We started with a look at speed and what kinds of objects have speed that can be measured. Our first lab, the Ramp Racers, helped to demonstrate the idea that motion is caused by forces and that by putting a car on a ramp, the car will go into motion that we can then measure. We were introduced to the Speed Wheel, a tool that helps us calculate speed, distance, or time, or basically any one step equation (p = mv, F = ma, etc.) We then took our learning outside to test Human Speeds, where you looked how to measure distance and time, to then calculate and find the average speed of a human in various running modes.  Some of you have recognized that we are doing math, yes, I said it, math!  Well math is the cousin to science and really the language in how we understand and evaluation MANY scienctific principles (Not the  Mr. Walker type).

From there we took our speed, distance, time scenario a bit further and went to calculate acceleration of a moving object. We tested this in two ways. First, some students took to the field and found that speeding up or slowing down effected the distance that they could travel in a certain amount of time. And then, some students became Civil Engineers and learned to create a foam track for passengers to travel on, creating twists and turns that demonstrated acceleration in the three ways (speeding up, slowing down, changing direction).

We have moved into understanding Momentum (p = mv), or the force of objects in motion. We will round out our unit by taking a closer look at net forces and balanced and unbalanced forces as we get closer to the end of the unit. We have a special activity (a favorite of many past students) which will help you solidify your understanding of Forces and Motion.

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