Physics 1: Forces & Motion
Physics Unit 1 overview
Physics is the study of energy. In this unit we will be examining forces by first understanding what velocity and acceleration is so that when we talk about forces and later energy  we'll have a better understanding of what energy is  which is the ability to move stuff.
Schedule OutlineUnit 1: Forces & Motion

When I am finished with Forces & Motion, I Can...

Physics 1 Forces & Motion Course Work
Day 1: Velocity
Objective
Assignment
Point of Lesson
Today, students got a new packet, and we briefly revisited the scientific method with the formation of a question, examined the variables of speed and made some observations as outlined on page 6. For the new packet  go to physics unit 1, forces & motion.
Students are brought to the understanding of how math and science go together and how x & y are substituted for actual variables such as distance and time.
Students also examine ways to set up and design their own labs based on their observations and series of questions and how to properly set up a line graph with time being on the bottom for this case (reasons are briefly explained below).
Today's lab is really an exploratory one based in math to get reacquainted with variables, rates of change & graphing basics.
Click on the button below to get the set of data for those who are not here.
 Students will investigate how speed affects the slope on a graph. This will build into forces & motion.
 Students will write step by step lab instructions, create their own lab, data table, graph and finally analyze data.
Assignment
 Velocity PPT, Vel & Motion Lab (p. 69)
Point of Lesson
Today, students got a new packet, and we briefly revisited the scientific method with the formation of a question, examined the variables of speed and made some observations as outlined on page 6. For the new packet  go to physics unit 1, forces & motion.
Students are brought to the understanding of how math and science go together and how x & y are substituted for actual variables such as distance and time.
Students also examine ways to set up and design their own labs based on their observations and series of questions and how to properly set up a line graph with time being on the bottom for this case (reasons are briefly explained below).
Today's lab is really an exploratory one based in math to get reacquainted with variables, rates of change & graphing basics.
Click on the button below to get the set of data for those who are not here.
What students should have got out of the lab is:
See the graphs below.
 The variables for speed or velocity is Distance & Time.
 The variables are arranged as a rate of change as Distance per amount of time (D/T).
 Time goes on the bottom of the graph because distance is dependent upon time and not the other way around (time is not dependent upon distance.)
 Time also goes on the bottom of the graph because of the formula for speed (Distance / Time) in comparison to the formula for slope of a line: Rise/Run (Y/X)  where Y is replaced by Distance, and X is replaced by Time.
 The question they are investigating is "How does speed affect the lines on a graph?"
 The independent variable in the question is speed.
 The dependent variable in the question is the slope.
 Students are then encouraged to set up the procedures for their own labs based on one of the fixed variables (generally it's been a fixed distance of 5 meters on the floor and time how long it takes to get the car there).
 What the students should see is:
 The faster the object, the steeper the slope.
 The slower the object, the shallower the slope. (Memory Tip: both have W's in their wording)
See the graphs below.
Velocity Lab Photos
Day 2: Acceleration
Objective:
Assignment:
Point of Lesson:
Finishing Yesterdays topic.
Discussion  why is the Time on the Xaxis and Distance on the Y axis?
In today's lesson  we recapped what we learned from the previous day  and discussed why we put time on the bottom of the graph.
What we did is we discussed how we would set up a velocity equation based on the variables of Distance and Time. Students then realized that the only way to describe velocity is with the equation Distance over Time (D/T).
We then discussed the slope formula rise/run which is y/x. The variables are then discussed the placement of x & y on the axis. When we substitute those formulas with the formula for speed  we get the same thing with Distance replacing Y and Time for X.
 Students will gain a better understanding of what acceleration will look like on a graph.
 Students will gain a better understanding of slope, velocity and other graphing basics.
Assignment:
 Acceleration PPT & Marble Madness (pg. 1012)
Point of Lesson:
Finishing Yesterdays topic.
Discussion  why is the Time on the Xaxis and Distance on the Y axis?
In today's lesson  we recapped what we learned from the previous day  and discussed why we put time on the bottom of the graph.
What we did is we discussed how we would set up a velocity equation based on the variables of Distance and Time. Students then realized that the only way to describe velocity is with the equation Distance over Time (D/T).
We then discussed the slope formula rise/run which is y/x. The variables are then discussed the placement of x & y on the axis. When we substitute those formulas with the formula for speed  we get the same thing with Distance replacing Y and Time for X.
Today's Topic: Acceleration
For Acceleration, we started off with discussing the motion of a balloon. Students notice that the balloon started off with no velocity, but as I released the balloon, it changed both speed & direction.
We later discussed the balloons motion in relation to Acceleration (a change in velocity  which is a speed and direction). Therefore, since acceleration is a difference in velocity  acceleration is a change in speed (speeding up and slowing down) and a change in direction.
We then discussed what the formula for acceleration is (Velocity over Time [V/T]) then did the marble madness lab.
In this lab, the time is replaced by the beat of a metronome, and the ticks on the ticker tape provides us with both distance and time (a beat per tick).
Below is some data that you can use for your packet, and pictures of students running the lab. Notice how they are dragging the ticker tape following the marble down the ramp as the other person is keeping beat with her pen. Next they measured all the tick marks and recorded their data.
Click here for the power point.
We later discussed the balloons motion in relation to Acceleration (a change in velocity  which is a speed and direction). Therefore, since acceleration is a difference in velocity  acceleration is a change in speed (speeding up and slowing down) and a change in direction.
We then discussed what the formula for acceleration is (Velocity over Time [V/T]) then did the marble madness lab.
In this lab, the time is replaced by the beat of a metronome, and the ticks on the ticker tape provides us with both distance and time (a beat per tick).
Below is some data that you can use for your packet, and pictures of students running the lab. Notice how they are dragging the ticker tape following the marble down the ramp as the other person is keeping beat with her pen. Next they measured all the tick marks and recorded their data.
Click here for the power point.
Acceleration Lab Data
Marble Mania Lab
This is what the lab looked like. Notice how the girl follows the marble down the ramp with the ticker tape as the other girl taps the tape with her pen. Each tap is a "tick" from the metronome played in the background. Each "tick" is then measured with a meter stick to determine the distance.
Day 3: Forces
Objective
Assignment
Point of the Lesson
Previous Day's Stuff:
In today's lesson we started off discussing what we did in yesterdays lab. This eventually led to the discussion about what our question was, what were the independent, dependent and controlled variables.
The question was based on the reformulated question "how does (independent variable) affect (dependent variable).
When we applied that question format to our lab we did yesterday  students reworded it to: "How does the steepness of the ramp affect the velocity of the marble.
From there we identified the independent variables, dependent variables and controlled variables.
Independent: "The steepness of the Ramp"
Dependent: "The Velocity of the Marble".
Control: Everything else.
 Learn how to interpret graphs
 Forces
 Independent/Dependent variables
 Basic Lab Design
Assignment
 Pgs 13 & 16
Point of the Lesson
Previous Day's Stuff:
In today's lesson we started off discussing what we did in yesterdays lab. This eventually led to the discussion about what our question was, what were the independent, dependent and controlled variables.
The question was based on the reformulated question "how does (independent variable) affect (dependent variable).
When we applied that question format to our lab we did yesterday  students reworded it to: "How does the steepness of the ramp affect the velocity of the marble.
From there we identified the independent variables, dependent variables and controlled variables.
Independent: "The steepness of the Ramp"
Dependent: "The Velocity of the Marble".
Control: Everything else.
Interpreting Graphs
Constant Velocity
From the previous day's lab we learned that the steeper the slope, the faster. The shallower the slope, the slower.
We also learned today that when we have a "flat line", we've stopped. It's a lot like when "we" "flatline" in the Hospital  our heart "stops" beating.
From the previous day's lab we learned that the steeper the slope, the faster. The shallower the slope, the slower.
We also learned today that when we have a "flat line", we've stopped. It's a lot like when "we" "flatline" in the Hospital  our heart "stops" beating.
Positive Acceleration
When our object undergoes a positive acceleration we notice that our graph becomes a curve  this is because our object is going faster and faster (as indicated by the straight lined slopes on the curve. (Steeper = faster).
You will note that our first slope is a shallow one, but eventually, it builds to a much steeper slope  which means that we are going faster.
This is also evident with the data we collected  as we notice that our data points on our paper gets farther and farther apart.
When our object undergoes a positive acceleration we notice that our graph becomes a curve  this is because our object is going faster and faster (as indicated by the straight lined slopes on the curve. (Steeper = faster).
You will note that our first slope is a shallow one, but eventually, it builds to a much steeper slope  which means that we are going faster.
This is also evident with the data we collected  as we notice that our data points on our paper gets farther and farther apart.
In our marble lab  we notice that our dots are indeed further apart from each other as time moves on. As we graph it, we notice that there is indeed a correlation with the steepness of the slope and the corresponding acceleration rate of the marble.
The one thing that we need to get out of this lab is:
The one thing that we need to get out of this lab is:
 When things accelerate, the graph curves because the object is moving faster each second.
 The faster the marble is going the steeper the curve.
Negative Acceleration
In a negative acceleration, the object starts off fast with a steep slope, but progressively flat lines  which means that he begins to slow down and stop at the marker he stopped at.
In a negative acceleration, the object starts off fast with a steep slope, but progressively flat lines  which means that he begins to slow down and stop at the marker he stopped at.
Forces
Today, students then learned about forces by having two "Jedi Masters" push a book on a lab cart back and forth across the floor. They realized shortly that a force is a push or a pull which causes objects to accelerate  or change their velocity (a change of speed or direction).
It's formula is Force (push/pull) = Mass (the object) x Acceleration (moving the object faster and faster, or slower and slower, or change its direction). Its unit is the Newton [N].
Students then answer the question "How does Mass affect the rate of acceleration"  and attempt to set up their own investigations to answer that question.
The students also write up an if/then because hypothesis to test & explain that question.
Next students formulate their own "big idea" lab that will test that hypothesis/question out.
Below are the main independent and dependent variables.
Independent Variable: Mass (this is what the students must change)
Dependent Variable: Velocity (this is what the students will observe/measure to see how the change of mass affects acceleration).
It's formula is Force (push/pull) = Mass (the object) x Acceleration (moving the object faster and faster, or slower and slower, or change its direction). Its unit is the Newton [N].
Students then answer the question "How does Mass affect the rate of acceleration"  and attempt to set up their own investigations to answer that question.
The students also write up an if/then because hypothesis to test & explain that question.
Next students formulate their own "big idea" lab that will test that hypothesis/question out.
Below are the main independent and dependent variables.
Independent Variable: Mass (this is what the students must change)
Dependent Variable: Velocity (this is what the students will observe/measure to see how the change of mass affects acceleration).
Day 4: Student led labs on Mass & Acceleration
Objective:
Assignment:
Point of the lesson:
 Help students design and implement their own lab
Assignment:
 Pg. 17, 14
Point of the lesson:
 Students did their own labs
 Pointed out that the independent of their hypothesis/question is mass.
 Pointed out that the hypothesis can be written out as an if/then because... statement.
 The because portion of their if/then hypothesis is the heart of your hypothesis  and not so much of the if/then part. (It is a possible explanation for a set of observations, or an answer to a scientific question).
 Mass can go on the bottom of the graph, or that you can use the basic Distance & Time graph  which is an aspect of Acceleration.
 When students run their lab  they realize that when you increase mass your acceleration rate slows down.
 We then finished off page 14 with the graphs.
 * The graphs are VERY important to understand with the upcoming two tests.
On the lab, I went over the basics of data analysis again and how to set up your graph. Remember, since mass is the variable that you are changing  that goes on the bottom of the graph. Since you are investigating an aspect of acceleration  either distance or time go on the side. However, if you are solely looking at acceleration, you can also do a Time v. Distance graph as well with time being on the bottom and distance on the side.
Force should NOT be one of the variables on the graph because you are trying to keep that variable constant.
Data from students labs.
Force should NOT be one of the variables on the graph because you are trying to keep that variable constant.
Data from students labs.
On this lab, students pulled several books 1 meter across a table. They were trying their best to keep it at 10 Newtons of force.
On this lab, students pushed a box full of science text books across the floor. The tile on the floor was their marker  as they were trying to keep the same amount of pushing strength every time.
Mass & Acceleration Lab Write Up
Instructions:
Introduction:
1st Part:
2nd Part:
Conclusion:
Example
Intro:
Mass, as we know it, includes all the matter, or stuff, that make up an object; that would mean all the atoms and molecules that are included in the makeup of the object. We also know that Force is a push or a pull to get that object to move faster or slower. If there is more matter in the object – does it somehow affect the rate we can get an object to accelerate? If so, how does mass affect acceleration? I believe that if one were to add more mass to an object that it would slow down the rate of acceleration, since there is more matter to push. Since there is more matter to push, that matter would have the tendency to resist me pushing it.
1st Part:
To experiment on this idea, what we decided to do as a group was see how far we could push a box of books with different masses. Since we are testing to see how mass affects acceleration, we will change the number of books we push in an empty box. Since we are observing how it affects acceleration, we chose to observe how far the box will move (distance) with the same amount of pushing. To keep things consistent, we used the middle of the front of the box to determine our distance – since we noticed that the box would rotate after each round of pushing.
To start things off, we first got an empty box and pushed it across the floor to see how far it would go. We measured the distance by how many tiles the box would slide across from our beginning point. We would repeat the process 3 times and take the average.
Next, we would add a book and push it again to see how far it would move. We would repeat the process 3 times and take the average distance.
Finally, we repeated each process two more times – each time adding one more book, and took the average of each.
Below is our materials list and data for this experiment.
2nd Part:
Materials List:
 Write up your mass & acceleration lab in a more formal lab write up by following the guidelines listed below.
 Submit your work in a typed up word (or similar) document via my assignment upload page.
Introduction:
 Have a basic hook.
 Needs to discuss any basic prior background knowledge that you have about the subject.
 Needs to ask the question.
 Form the hypothesis (hypothesis – unsupported claim)  It can be an if/then because statement
1st Part:
 Talk about your lab or experiment.
 Include your variables (independent, dependent and any controls & definitions/clarifications)
 Talk about why you chose your variables
 Include the step by step process you took to collect your data.
 Include any materials you used in your lab.
2nd Part:
 Materials list
 Data
 Graphs  Notice the title and labels of the x & y axis. Independent goes on bottom, dependent goes on the side.
Conclusion:
 Readdress your hypothesis and answer the question using the evidence you've collected.
 Ask yourself – does it support or reject your hypothesis with your findings
 Reflections and personal insights  how well do you think your lab went? Did you have any issues or anomalies with your lab? Did you have any hickups along the way as you collected data? If so, what would you do differently? What did you learn along the way?
Example
Intro:
Mass, as we know it, includes all the matter, or stuff, that make up an object; that would mean all the atoms and molecules that are included in the makeup of the object. We also know that Force is a push or a pull to get that object to move faster or slower. If there is more matter in the object – does it somehow affect the rate we can get an object to accelerate? If so, how does mass affect acceleration? I believe that if one were to add more mass to an object that it would slow down the rate of acceleration, since there is more matter to push. Since there is more matter to push, that matter would have the tendency to resist me pushing it.
1st Part:
To experiment on this idea, what we decided to do as a group was see how far we could push a box of books with different masses. Since we are testing to see how mass affects acceleration, we will change the number of books we push in an empty box. Since we are observing how it affects acceleration, we chose to observe how far the box will move (distance) with the same amount of pushing. To keep things consistent, we used the middle of the front of the box to determine our distance – since we noticed that the box would rotate after each round of pushing.
To start things off, we first got an empty box and pushed it across the floor to see how far it would go. We measured the distance by how many tiles the box would slide across from our beginning point. We would repeat the process 3 times and take the average.
Next, we would add a book and push it again to see how far it would move. We would repeat the process 3 times and take the average distance.
Finally, we repeated each process two more times – each time adding one more book, and took the average of each.
Below is our materials list and data for this experiment.
2nd Part:
Materials List:
 Box
 Tiled floor
 3 books
Conclusion:
In examining our evidence, we have found that as we did add more mass, our ability to move the object got harder. We think that the reasoning behind it is that since you add more mass, there are more atoms that we have to push. Since there are more atoms to push, it makes it more difficult to move. Therefore, our hypothesis is correct with our findings in that as you increase mass, acceleration rates decrease.
In examining our evidence, we have found that as we did add more mass, our ability to move the object got harder. We think that the reasoning behind it is that since you add more mass, there are more atoms that we have to push. Since there are more atoms to push, it makes it more difficult to move. Therefore, our hypothesis is correct with our findings in that as you increase mass, acceleration rates decrease.
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How to set up a chart in Open Office 
Day 5: Inertia
Objective
Assignment
Previous Day's lab
Today we talked about the difference between a conclusion and hypothesis statement. I wanted the students to notice that in the conclusion we include evidence  the hypothesis lacks the evidence.
I also pointed out a new assignement that the students will be working on at home with the lab write up. You can find the example and what I'm expecting to see on my physics unit 1 page near the bottom of the page.
Point of Today's Lesson
Acceleration Graphs (pg 14)
Below are 6 scenarios of what my acceleration graph would look like with the formula Force = Mass x Acceleration on page 16.
Assignment
 Pgs. 1415
Previous Day's lab
Today we talked about the difference between a conclusion and hypothesis statement. I wanted the students to notice that in the conclusion we include evidence  the hypothesis lacks the evidence.
I also pointed out a new assignement that the students will be working on at home with the lab write up. You can find the example and what I'm expecting to see on my physics unit 1 page near the bottom of the page.
Point of Today's Lesson
Acceleration Graphs (pg 14)
Below are 6 scenarios of what my acceleration graph would look like with the formula Force = Mass x Acceleration on page 16.
 If I don't change the strength of my force (push/pull), then if I increase my mass, my acceleration rate goes down (it's harder to get the object to go faster  i.e. pushing a car).
 If I don't change the strength of my force (push/pull), then if I decrease my mass, my acceleration rate goes up (it's easier to get the object to go faster  i.e. throwing a ball).
 If I don't change the object (mass), then if I push harder, I can get the object to accelerate faster. (i.e. if I throw the ball harder  it goes faster)
 If I don't change the object (mass), then if I don't push as hard, the object goes slower. (i.e.if I lob the ball, it doesn't go as fast).
 If I want to maintain the same acceleration rate, then if I increase my mass, I have to push harder. (i.e. If I'm driving an SUV and I want to keep up with with the Ferrari, I've really got to hit the gas!)
 If I want to maintain the same acceleration rate, then if I decrease my mass, I don't have to push as hard (as the other guy). (i.e. If I'm driving a Ferrari, then if I want to stay with the Diesel truck I don't need to hit the gas peddle as hard).
Inertia
Today we talked about inertia as the reasoning behind the effects of getting an object with mass to accelerate faster/slower.
Inertia is the property of matter that resists the force.
Inertia can also be worded as:
Any object in motion will stay in motion unless acted by another force. (This is why you wear your seat belt)
Any object at rest will stay at rest unless acted by another force.
Mass is what gives any object inertia. The more mass, the more inertia you have. Inertia is also that resistance to the force. This is why when you push a heavy cart  it's hard to start it and stop it. This is also why when you push an empty cart it's easier to get it started and to stop it.
Here I briefly explain what inertia is and why it's important to wear a seat belt.
Day 6: Balanced Forces
Objective
Assignments
Point of Lesson
 Students will understand how unbalanced forces cause acceleration and how balanced forces causes no acceleration.
Assignments
 Pg 1922
 HW: Tests online (8th Grade Scientific Method Common Assessment & eventually the Physics 1 Test)
 HW: Lab Write Up (For more detailed information  go to my physics 1: forces and motion page)
 Remember that the next time is when we grade and turn in the packets  it's all due next time. We will be doing the test also online on skyward.
Point of Lesson
 First part of class  we covered classroom business.
 Second half of the class  we launched right into the lab. We did not explain anything as of yet. We will cover that the next time we come in (pg. 18). Though, if you want to see what we will be covering  you can download the power point here.
 Last  we started the lab w/o discussion. Here is some data for those who did not get the chance to finish. Your job is to read the booklet and infer what this all means based on the data collected.
Lab Photos
Day 7: EMT
Objective
Assignments
Point of Lesson
 Grade the packet & complete pg 18
Assignments
 Pg. 18
 Online Test on Skyward or UCUtips, depending on which class.
Point of Lesson
 Today we graded the packet and completed pg. 18 concerning Balanced and Unbalanced forces.
 Click here for the PowerPoint.
 Also, a quick reminder that the write up on the lab (pgs 16 & 17) are highly encouraged to be written over the weekend. Otherwise, they are due Oct. 16th & 17th.
Unit Files

