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Newton’s Three Laws of Motion and Calculating Speed


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In this unit, students will learn about Newton’s laws of motion and will be calculating speed, distance, and time traveled. Students will participate in a hands-on lab in which they will measure the time it takes to travel a certain distance and calculate speed. Students will apply this information to Newton’s three laws of motion. This unit also touches on potential and kinetic energy. The speed equation is introduced and sample problems are included.  Students will also identify variables in the experiment. This is a comprehensive unit that connects these concepts with hands-on activities that are highly engaging!

Students will love carrying out these investigations using pull-back cars. You will need a pull-back car for each group of students. These are inexpensive at a discount store or online. I suggest about 4 -5 students in a group.

A pull-back car is a great example of all three of Newton’s Laws as well as potential and kinetic energy.

This unit includes:

  • Slide show Variables and Fair Tests
  • Slide show on Newton’s Laws of Motion
  • Calculating Speed, Time, and Distance (The Triangle Method)
  • Lab with pull-back cars-four different tests
  • Lab pages
  • Follow-up pages
  • Calculating speed practice page
  • Calculating Distance and Time Traveled Page (for differentiation and challenge)
  • CER on how Newton’s Laws relate to Pull-Back Toys
  • Answer Keys