Mechanics Lesson Plans
- Acceleration- To
develop an understanding of velocity and to distinguish it from speed.
- Action and Reaction-
To demonstrate that forces occur only in pairs.
- As The
Ferris Wheel Turns- Students explore what goes into developing a Ferris
- Aviation- . The
main objective for this mini-teach is for students to understand that
objects are launched in different ways and fly through the air in different
- Balance and Gravity-
Students will learn the basic concepts of balance and how to determine
the location of the center of gravity using a model of the leaning tower
of pisa and various other items.
Balls- A ball bouncing on a hard surface is used to study the action
of gravity on a simple system. We will let a single ball bounce several
times, as well as having several different types of balls to bounce off
a hard surface.
- Bouncing Balls-
The student will make careful observations of a ball bouncing off a hard
surface one time or sequentially for several trials, to study how the
ball travels as it bounces across the room.
- Bouncing Superball Physics:
part 1- To explore several striking and unusual properties of bouncing
superballs. To measure and understand the elasticity coefficient for a
of Gravity- Third grade students will be able to find the center of
gravity and to define force and gravity.
- Center of Gravity-
Predict and find the center of gravity of an object.
- Centripetual Force-
To illustrate the components that govern the size of centripetal force
in an object that moves in a circular path around a central point.
- Circular Motion-
Students will be able to recognize centripetal force and discern that
radius, mass and period influence this force.
- Coefficient of Restitution-
To investigate the variables (factors) influencing the bouncing of balls.
2. To find the coefficient of restitution for four balls.
- Come Fly With Me-
Students will state Bernoulli's principle which is "the pressure in a
moving stream of fluid is less than the surrounding fluid."
- Demonstrating The Kinds
of Energy- To develop a theory of molecular motion that explains the
behavior of gases both qualitatively and quantitatively.
- Determining A Spring
Constant- To determine the spring constant of a hanging spring.
- Displacement- Students
will acquire a working definition of the word displacement. Students will
also understand that the volume (size) of an object placed in water effects
the amount of water that is displaced.
- Energy- The students
in third grade will be able to describe and compare how energy in different
forms affects common objects and is involved in common events. Define
kinetic and potential energy.
- Flight Physics-
Introduce Bernoulli's Principle. Construct simple types of aerodynamic
- Forces and Acceleration-
To measure the time it takes a person to travel a known distance when
a constant force is applied.
- Friction- Students
will demonstrate a greater understanding of "friction" by cooperatively
experiencing and describing a range of phenomena involving friction.
- Friction: What a Drag-
At the end of this lab students will be able to recognize that weight
and surface type affect friction.
- Give Me Energy-
The 7th and 8th grade students will be able to define, give examples of,
and differentiate between potential and kinetic energy.
Lesson- To find out if mass affects the drops of the student-made
model parachutes and helicopters.
- Helicopter- Students
will be able to demonstrate the effects of aerodynamics on a wide board.
- How to speed up a slow
Grandfather: The Pendulum- To introduce the concept of periodic motion
and relate it to its use in a Grandfather type clock.
- Inertia- Balance
a playing card with a nickel on your index finger.
- Inertia- The idea
is if enough demonstrations of inertia are done, the definition or meaning
of inertia will become clear.
- Inertia- The main
objective of this mini-teach is for students to learn and understand what
- It's So Simple- This
lesson may be used as an introduction to Simple Machines. It may be applied
to various grade levels. Students will receive a visual explanation of
how machines we see in everyday life work.
- Kinetic Energy and Work-
Kinetic energy can be thought of as the energy associated with the motion
of an object and is equivalent to work.
- Linear Motion: Speed,
Velocity & Acceleration- This lesson is designed for high school and
is adaptable to lower levels. Students will be able to measure linear
distance and time and calculate velocity.
To see the relationship between mass and acceleration of an object.
vs Weight- The purpose of this mini-teach is to give the students
an understanding of the concepts of Mass vs Weight and a basic understanding
of metric measurements.
- Measuring The Gravitational
Constant- Students will see that the gravitational force is indeed
universal; The gravitational force acts not only on, but also between
objects of normal size and mass.
- Momentum- The main
objective of this mini-teach is to demonstrate the concept of momentum.
- Momentum- They will
observe the transfer of momentum.
- Momentum And Colliding
Spheres- Student will be able to understand that mass x velocity equals
momentum. Student will be able to understand the impacts of collisions
and their results.
- Momentum Conserved-
The students will apply two of Newton's Laws of Motion discovering that
Momentum is conserved.
- Motion of a Bowling
Ball- The students will be able to make a distance vs. time graph
of a bowling ball and have practice reading distance vs. time graphs of
- Newton's Laws of Motion-
To initiate an understanding in describing the principles and dynamics
involved in the Laws.
- Newton's Second Law
of Motion- To verify Newton's Second Law of motion by a) subjecting
a body to multiples of a force; b) subjecting two bodies to the same force
and qualitatively describing what happens.
- Newton's Second Law:
A Relationship with Dynamics Carts- Students will form their own hypothesis
about the relationships between force, mass, and acceleration for their
dynamics cart system.
- Newton's Third Law-
Children will use inquiry and observation skills to determine Newton's
Third Law of Motion; for every action there is a reaction; for every force
there is an equal and opposite force.
- Newton's Third Law Of
Motion- Pupils will verbalize and demonstrate Newton's 3rd Law of
Motion: action and reaction.
- Newton's Third Law of
Motion- Students will be able to do activities to demonstrate Newton's
Third Law of Motion.
- Objects Race 500-
To determine how shape affects speed.
- Orbital Motion-
In this activity the students compare a circle with an ellipse.
- Pendulums- The students
will be able to determine what factors effect the period (time to swing
back and forth) of a Pendulum.
- Periodic Motion: The
Pendulum- To introduce the concept of periodic motion and relate it
to the movement of a pendulum.
- Physics Lab Rockets-
To discover some qualitative variables involved in making a balloon rocket
on a string.
- Positioning the Fulcrum
in Class One Levers- To discover and demonstrate the relationship
between force and the distance of the load from the fulcrum.
- Potential Energy-
The students will recognize that potential energy is the ability to do
work. The students will identify the two factors that effect potential
- Potential Energy: How
is It Related to Kinetic Energy?- This is an integrated primary level
math and science experience designed to demonstrate the relationship between
potential energy and kinetic energy. The greater the input of potential
energy (altitude of the ramp), greater the output of kinetic energy (distance
- Projectile Motion-
As a result of this experience students will be able to recognize that
projectile motion is the resultant of two independent velocities, horizontal
- Projectile Motion-
To predict maximum range of a projectile device at various angles.
- Projectile Motion (or
You Bet Your Grade)- To calculate the initial velocity of a spring
stretched a varying amount and fired vertically from a shooter and to
predict, by calculations, where that spring will land when it is shot
horizontally off of a horizontal platform.
- Projectiles- The
student will be able to measure angle and distance of an arc.
- Reaction Time- Each
student will be able to obtain his/her reaction time by making simple
measurements. Each student will also be able to find the constituent parts
of their overall reaction time.
- Retrograde Motion-
Demonstrate the basic motions of heavenly bodies.
- Rockets- The student
will be able to design or build their own rocket.
- Rolling Spheres on Inclined
Planes- The students will be able to determine the distance of a sphere
rolling down an inclined plane and discover that inclined planes make
- Rotational Inertia-
To demonstrate how the resistance of an object to rotation is rotational
- Simple Machines-
The students will be able to identify the six simple machines and how
they are used in our lives. They will gain a basic understanding of the
use of force and effort.
- Simple Machines-
The student will be able to: define and give examples of "work" and "machine".
- Sitting on Nails-Boyle's
Law- To understand the difference between force and pressure.
- So You Want to Hit a
Home Run?- Students will demonstrate a relationship between the position
of the baseball bat and the baseball at the point of contact to direct
the ball in the appropriate hitting field.
- Sports in Physics: Measuring
Velocity in a Mini-Olympics- To demonstrate an understanding of the
difference between speed, velocity, and acceleration.
- Straight Line Motion
in Two Parts- Students will observe both constant and accelerated
(changing) motion. They should be able to calculate speed from distance
and time measurements. They will graph distance vs time for each motion
and observe that the two motions look different when graphed.
- Straight Line Motion
with a Stomper- After this experience, the student should be able
to define average speed (distance traveled/time) and be able to graph
distance vs time and velocity vs time.
- Stress and Strain-
To show the stress and strain involved in the movements of the earth's
crust with the use of working models.
- Strings and Springs-
By measuring several periodic phenomena, the student will make graphs
and determine what the different shapes indicate.
- Super-Ball Physics-
To study the motion of superballs in the air, colliding with and bouncing
off smooth surfaces. Basic features of moving and colliding objects can
be demonstrated and studied using this familiar and fascinating toy.
- The Center Of Mass-
To determine when the center of mass is inside the boundaries of the object
and when the center of mass is outside the boundaries of the object.
Great Tin Race- Understand the relationship between distance and time.
Inertial Balance- At the end of this lesson, the student will be able
to explain how either a single pan or double pan balance operates; explain
the physics principle of the balance using Newton�s First and Second Laws.
- The Jensen Bar - What
is it and how do you make one- To make a Jensen Bar.
- The Soup Roll- Students
will be able to determine if the contents of a can affect how long it
takes to roll down an incline.
- Tops- They will
observe angular motion - precession.
- Torque- The main
objective of this mini- teach is to show the difference between Work and
Torque, in relationship to Force and Distance.
- Vectors- The student
is introduced to the concept that both magnitude and direction are necessary
when giving instructions for locating a place.
- Vectors- To define
a vector and its rules. To use as a tool to help clarify its use with
motion and forces.
Weight is felt by the support given to us by the floor. Weightlessness
is a result of free fall. Orbital motion is a form of free fall.
- What Is Work?- To
show work (w) equals force (f) times distance (d) and the connection between
work and potential energy, kinetic energy, and heat.
- Why Use Seat Belts?-
To show some reasons for wearing seat belts.
- Work, Power And Entropy