SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.
The Force and Motion SciPack explores the effects of forces on the motion of objects. The focus is on topics linked to Standards and Benchmarks related to concepts such as constant motion, acceleration, speed and direction as well as a discussion of Newton’s Laws of Motion.
Ideas For Use
SciPacks are discrete learning experiences teachers can use to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept. Each SciPack contains a collection of three to five free Science Objects, which provide an understanding of the science content that supports curricula requirements by providing a structured set of learning experiences through simulations and practice assessments. Science Objects challenge teachers to explore and explain real world phenomena. Science Objects are founded on the principle that learners must be challenged with a problem, observation, data, etc., in order to develop scientific understanding. Science Objects present problems, phenomena, demonstrations, and simulations utilizing inquiry-based learning.
In addition to comprehensive inquiry-based learning materials tied to Science Education Standards and Benchmarks, the SciPack includes the following additional components:
- Pedagogical Implications section addressing common misconceptions, teaching resources and strand maps linking grade band appropriate content to standards.
- Access to one-on-one support via e-mail to content “Wizards”.
- Final Assessment which can be used to certify mastery of the concepts.
Force and Motion: Position and Motion
Force and Motion: Newton’s First Law
- Identify the position of one object relative to the position of another object by providing the approximate distance and angles between the objects, the angles being measured from some reference line.
- Define the concepts of speed and velocity.
- Determine the average speed of an object given necessary information.
- Describe, draw, or otherwise detail the velocity of an object given magnitude and direction.
- Define acceleration.
- Recognize examples of acceleration and provide examples of acceleration.
- Distinguish between constant and changing motion.
- Distinguish increasing speed from increasing acceleration.
- Recognize that the state of rest is a state of zero speed (rather than as something fundamentally different than motion).
Force and Motion: Newton’s Second Law
- Recognize and give examples of forces.
- Recognize and give examples of balanced and unbalanced forces.
- Equate the term “unbalanced force” with “a net force that does not equal zero.”
- Apply, in an informal way, Newton’s first law.
- Explain the role of the force of friction in determining how well Newton’s first law seems to apply or not apply to a given physical situation.
- Explain the reasoning Galileo used to justify the second part of Newton’s first law.
- Explain how the force of friction applies to the second part of Newton’s first law.
- Recognize the concept of inertia (as opposed to a force, momentum, etc.).
- Recognize that an object at rest may have forces acting on it.
- Distinguish between “impulse” and “sustained” forces (and recognize both).
- Recognize that objects do not have internal forces that keep them moving.
Force and Motion: Newton’s Third Law
- Understand that the “F” in F = ma stands for the net force acting on an object, “m” stands for the mass of the object, and “a” stands for the resulting acceleration of the object.
- Demonstrate the cause-effect relationship associated with Newton’s Second Law—that net forces cause accelerations and not the other way around.
- Know that a net force was applied if an acceleration is observed, and, if the application of a net force is observed, the result will be an acceleration.
- State and apply Newton’s second law.
- Distinguish between the role of “F” and the role of “m” in Newton’s second law.
- Recognize that an object can apply a force to another object, but an object cannot carry a force with it.
- Use and interpret ratios and proportions, such as through appropriate use of the phrases “for each,” “per”,” or “for every.”
- Explain that when object A exerts a force on object B, object B exerts an equal and opposite force back on object A, regardless of the masses or motion of either object.
- Identify the force that B applies on A, given a force that A applies on B.
- Recognize that these forces are exerted simultaneously.
- Apply this concept in a variety of situations.
- Use Newton’s third law to explain how an inanimate object can exert a force on another object.