Get Real Science!
A creative lesson plan.
This is a low-tech way to teach principles of physics in the elementary or middle school classroom. It’s cheap and fun and prompts kids to regard everyday toys with the eyes of a scientist!
All of the science standards recommended for classroom use today, whether they be NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards), STEM, or National Science Education Standards, have an imperative to foster experiential learning. These include analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematical and computational thinking, and constructing explanations. That is, students should discover for themselves how the world works. The study of physics is no different. But it need not be an expensive proposition. Working with old-fashioned Hot Wheels™ cars and track, children will follow directions to set up their experiments. They learn to observe, form conclusions, and make connections with accepted principles of motion and forces.
This unit is hands-on and also introduces students to data sheets, the use of a triple balance beam scale, metric measurements, vocabulary, and Newton’s Laws of Motion in a non-threatening way. Also included are student worksheets and an answer key. It’s the perfect stand-alone or supplementary lesson, and best of all—you can play too!