Physical Science: Forces and Motion
Students participate in an in-depth study of motion as related to a point of reference, distance, time, and direction. Their exploration into motion also presents high interest content for students to hone their skills in metric measurement and the use of tools and equipment appropriate to scientific investigations. The middle school experience of investigating balanced and unbalanced forces, and their relationship to the size of change in motion, provide concrete experiences on which a more comprehensive understanding of force can be based at the high school level. Students can move from qualitative descriptions of moving objects in the elementary grades to quantitative descriptions of moving objects and the identification of the forces acting on the objects.The completion of the study in motion involves the exploration and identification of contact and non-contact forces and how they change the motion of objects. Students’ everyday experiences in motion lead them to believe that friction causes all moving objects to slow down and stop. In-depth explorations into reducing the force of friction can help the students understand and demonstrate that a moving object requires friction to keep it moving. The understanding of objects at rest requires the students recognize that there are balanced forces in equilibrium, such as a book on a table or chair on the floor.