This is guide for engaging, hands-on, experiential forces stations activities. It guides students through a series of 15 stations activities that help make forces more real, relevant and exciting for students. The station activities can be done in any order, allowing every student to be busy with something exciting. I set it up so that some of the stations are in place (not to be moved) and other stations are in "activity bins/boxes" so that students can bring them to their seats. These activities are sure to bring life and understanding to your classroom. Students have a blast guiding themselves through hands-on investigations! Questions are aligned to 7th-grade Science Essential Standards.
Examples of the activities include:
-Dropping different items to better understand mass, weight, and gravity
-Understanding how the force of friction affects cars going down ramps
-Balanced and Unbalanced forces with tug-of-war, spinning tops, and building card castles
-Experimenting with Newton's Cradle to better understand forces and Newton's Laws of Motion
-Playing the partner push game to better understand balanced and unbalanced forces
-Calculating Net Forces
-Calculating your weight and mass on other planets
-Better Understanding the force of Gravity with wall sits and pushups
-Examining Friction with woodworking
-Fingerprint with friction
The activities require a lot of materials, but many of the materials are very cheap and easy to find (around the house, dollar store, etc.) Th activities can also be edited to fit your materials needs. These are the materials I use: Ramps, hotwheels, timers, different friction surfaces, multiple items of different masses to drop (scarves, balls, etc.), cards, spinning tops, Newton's Cradles, Marble Coaster, sandpaper and any wood to sand, ink pads, tug-of-war rope, and print out of weights on other planets (http://www.livescience.com/33356-weight-on-planets-mars-moon.html). Two of the activities include pre-readings from the Holt 7th grade science textbook, but the teacher can edit the pre-readings to their own textbooks or reading passages, or get rid of them all together - this will not significantly alter the activity packet.