TEKS Science: 6.3D, 6.8B, 6.8D, 8.3D, 8.6A, 8.6C CCRS Science Standards: VIII-C1, VIII-C2
Students are introduced to the effect of forces on the motion of objects. The students view videos of forces in action and identify the forces present. The contributions of Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton are briefly discussed and related to the motion of objects observed every day. The students observe a demonstration of Newton’s first law of motion, then transition to the Forces and Motion Basics PhET computer simulation to investigate the effect of force on motion. The students observe the effect of friction on the motion of an object, as well as, the theoretical case without friction. The students are also introduced to the relationship between an applied force and the acceleration of an object. Students consider the advantages and disadvantages of using a computer simulation to model the motion of an object. To elaborate on the material, the students use blocks and a piece of cardboard to model how buildings collapse during earthquakes. The October 23, 2011 earthquake in Turkey is discussed and students hypothesize how the movement of the earth can affect building structures. A connection is made to careers in engineering.