Week #4: Forces in Motion – Newton’s Roller Coaster
- Observe forces acting upon objects at rest and in motion
- Recognize examples of mechanically stored energy
- Discuss examples of potential and kinetic energy
- Design, construct, and modify a model
- Evaluate points of stress and potential failure within a structure and improve upon them
- Learners discussed examples of testing gravity.
- Learners examined examples of stored mechanical energy and kinetic energy.
- Learners reviewed Newton’s laws of motion and constructed a simple Newton’s cradle to explore the relationship between applied force, acceleration, and mass.
- Learners explored the forces required to keep objects in an upside down bucket.
- Learners designed, constructed, and modified a structure that had to include at least three elements from a marble drop, a loop, a 90 degree change in direction, or push a toy, and then drop into a cup.
Questions to Discuss
- What are three devices you use that use stored energy to make them work?
- What are three things you can observe when energy is doing work? (hint – think of what you might observe when a device is plugged in)
- What are at least two forces that keep a kicked soccer ball from rolling forever?
- Did it take more effort to spin the bucket when it was empty or when it was full?
- On your roller coaster, where was the marble moving the fastest and the slowest?
- Where did you marble jump off the track the most? How did you modify things to stop that from happening?
- What changes did you make to your roller coaster that made it different from your original plan?
- Why was it important to start your roller coaster with the marble dropping? Could it start at a point lower than the loop?
Things to Try at Home
- While riding in a vehicle, close your eyes and try to use your other senses to determine if you are speeding up, slowing down, going around a corner, or even how fast you might be going. What clues did you use?
- Learn to juggle or interview someone who already knows how. Describe how the balls move (where are they fastest or slowest) using words or pictures.
- Write a poem or song that helps you remember Newton’s Laws of Motion.
- Choose three toys or devices that need energy to work. Where does each one store the energy? How do you add energy to them?