This lesson allows small groups to investigate the movement of toy cars on a variety of surfaces to observe the effects of friction and slope on speed. It suggests a video from YouTube or Discovery Education as an introductory activity. If YouTube is unavailable, consider using another video on forces and motion. Consider allowing students more flexibility in the design of the experiment to encourage inquiry.
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- The students will demonstrate an understanding of the terms: force, gravity, friction, and speed.
- The students will experiment with the effects of friction on speed and motion.
- The students will understand that friction and other forces have an effect on speed and motion.
- The students will use appropriate language to express their thoughts and ideas.
- The students will also work cooperatively in small groups.
Materials and Resources:
- Books, blocks, or other stacking materials
- 36" x 12" (1 m x 30.5 cm) pieces of smooth plywood or other sturdy, flat material, 1 per group
- Small toy cars with moving wheels, one per student group
- Pennies, washers, or other small uniform objects with weight, 6 per student group
- 1-foot (30.5 cm) sheets of heavy duty sand paper, 3 per student group
- 3-foot (1 m) sheets of wax paper, 1 per student group
- 3-foot (1 m) sheets of bubble wrap, 1 per student group
- Pencils and erasers
- Science journals or writing paper
- Stop watch (or watch with second hand), 1 per student group
- Meter stick, 1 per student group