This is a classroom favorite. Students will design and build racecars from milk cartons, push-up pop wheels and power them with balloons. Helps demonstrate all of Newton's Laws of Motion (inertia, a = f/m, action-reaction).
Materials needed: milk cartons, straws, push-up pop stems (or other wheels), balloons, stop watch.
Main topics: force, mass, acceleration, Newton's Laws of Motion, experimental design.
Quick, easy, and effective in demonstrating Newton's Laws of Motion. It will take time for students to build and test their car...I usually give them about a week total. We also have contests for speed, distance, and appearance. Great for middle school or introductory high school courses.
If you like this activity, you can follow these links to other lessons and activities in my motion and forces units.
Motion PowerPoint Presentation
Acceleration PowerPoint Presentation
The Nature of Force PowerPoint Presentation
Friction, Gravity, and Elastic Forces PowerPoint Presentation
Newton's Laws PowerPoint Presentation
Calculating and Graphing Speed: Marble Racing Experiment!
Changing Speed: Coffee Filter Racing Experiment!
Inertia Lab: Testing Newtons First Law of Motion
Bowling for Forces: Testing Newtons Second Law
Paper Airplane Lab: Gravity and Air Resistance
Motion Review Worksheet: Distance Time Graphs
Speed and Velocity Review Worksheet
Motion Review Worksheet: Speed Time Graphs
Motion Review Worksheet: Speed Problems
Forces Review Worksheet: Describing Forces
Forces Review Worksheet: Identifying Forces
Forces Review Worksheet: Forces at Work