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 Wheel.
  • 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 ways.
  • 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.
  1. Bouncing 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bouncing Superball Physics: part 1- To explore several striking and unusual properties of bouncing superballs. To measure and understand the elasticity coefficient for a bouncing superball.
  4. Center of Gravity- Third grade students will be able to find the center of gravity and to define force and gravity.
  5. Center of Gravity- Predict and find the center of gravity of an object.
  6. 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.
  7. Circular Motion- Students will be able to recognize centripetal force and discern that radius, mass and period influence this force.
  8. Coefficient of Restitution- To investigate the variables (factors) influencing the bouncing of balls. 2. To find the coefficient of restitution for four balls.
  9. 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."
  10. Demonstrating The Kinds of Energy- To develop a theory of molecular motion that explains the behavior of gases both qualitatively and quantitatively.
  11. Determining A Spring Constant- To determine the spring constant of a hanging spring.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Flight Physics- Introduce Bernoulli's Principle. Construct simple types of aerodynamic designs.
  15. Forces and Acceleration- To measure the time it takes a person to travel a known distance when a constant force is applied.
  16. Friction- Students will demonstrate a greater understanding of "friction" by cooperatively experiencing and describing a range of phenomena involving friction.
  17. Friction: What a Drag- At the end of this lab students will be able to recognize that weight and surface type affect friction.
  18. Give Me Energy- The 7th and 8th grade students will be able to define, give examples of, and differentiate between potential and kinetic energy.
  19. Gravity Lesson- To find out if mass affects the drops of the student-made model parachutes and helicopters.
  20. Helicopter- Students will be able to demonstrate the effects of aerodynamics on a wide board.
  21. 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.
  22. Inertia- Balance a playing card with a nickel on your index finger.
  23. Inertia- The idea is if enough demonstrations of inertia are done, the definition or meaning of inertia will become clear.
  24. Inertia- The main objective of this mini-teach is for students to learn and understand what inertia is.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Mass/Acceleration- To see the relationship between mass and acceleration of an object.
  29. Mass 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.
  30. 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.
  31. Momentum- The main objective of this mini-teach is to demonstrate the concept of momentum.
  32. Momentum- They will observe the transfer of momentum.
  33. 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.
  34. Momentum Conserved- The students will apply two of Newton's Laws of Motion discovering that Momentum is conserved.
  35. 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 various motions.
  36. Newton's Laws of Motion- To initiate an understanding in describing the principles and dynamics involved in the Laws.
  37. 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.
  38. 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.
  39. 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.
  40. Newton's Third Law Of Motion- Pupils will verbalize and demonstrate Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: action and reaction.
  41. Newton's Third Law of Motion- Students will be able to do activities to demonstrate Newton's Third Law of Motion.
  42. Objects Race 500- To determine how shape affects speed.
  43. Orbital Motion- In this activity the students compare a circle with an ellipse.
  44. Pendulums- The students will be able to determine what factors effect the period (time to swing back and forth) of a Pendulum.
  45. Periodic Motion: The Pendulum- To introduce the concept of periodic motion and relate it to the movement of a pendulum.
  46. Physics Lab Rockets- To discover some qualitative variables involved in making a balloon rocket on a string.
  47. Positioning the Fulcrum in Class One Levers- To discover and demonstrate the relationship between force and the distance of the load from the fulcrum.
  48. 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 energy.
  49. 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 traveled).
  50. 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 and vertical.
  51. Projectile Motion- To predict maximum range of a projectile device at various angles.
  52. 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.
  53. Projectiles- The student will be able to measure angle and distance of an arc.
  54. 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.
  55. Retrograde Motion- Demonstrate the basic motions of heavenly bodies.
  56. Rockets- The student will be able to design or build their own rocket.
  57. 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 work easier.
  58. Rotational Inertia- To demonstrate how the resistance of an object to rotation is rotational inertia.
  59. 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.
  60. Simple Machines- The student will be able to: define and give examples of "work" and "machine".
  61. Sitting on Nails-Boyle's Law- To understand the difference between force and pressure.
  62. 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.
  63. Sports in Physics: Measuring Velocity in a Mini-Olympics- To demonstrate an understanding of the difference between speed, velocity, and acceleration.
  64. 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.
  65. 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.
  66. Stress and Strain- To show the stress and strain involved in the movements of the earth's crust with the use of working models.
  67. Strings and Springs- By measuring several periodic phenomena, the student will make graphs and determine what the different shapes indicate.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. The Great Tin Race- Understand the relationship between distance and time.
  71. The 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.
  72. The Jensen Bar - What is it and how do you make one- To make a Jensen Bar.
  73. 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.
  74. Tops- They will observe angular motion - precession.
  75. Torque- The main objective of this mini- teach is to show the difference between Work and Torque, in relationship to Force and Distance.
  76. Vectors- The student is introduced to the concept that both magnitude and direction are necessary when giving instructions for locating a place.
  77. Vectors- To define a vector and its rules. To use as a tool to help clarify its use with motion and forces.
  78. Weightlessness- 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.
  79. 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.
  80. Why Use Seat Belts?- To show some reasons for wearing seat belts.
  81. Work, Power And Entropy