A 4-page lab activity
that challenges students to investigate Newton’s second law of motion
by determining the relationship between mass, net force, and acceleration of an object
In this activity, students are provided a Ping-Pong ball, a glass marble or ball bearing (equivalent in size to the Ping-Pong ball) and a rigid wooden ruler. Students are to pull back the ruler to hit the ball or marble/bearing while observing the acceleration of the object qualitatively. This is the basic procedure, which is then modified by the students to perform the rest of the activity.
Then, in a series of 3 mini-investigations
, students are asked to change either (1) the mass of the object
(by alternating between the Ping-Pong ball and glass marble/bearing); or (2) the size of the net force
(by pulling the ruler back further before striking the objects) to determine the relationship between mass, net force, and acceleration.
This lab activity arose because I wanted to a simple lab that investigated the relationship between mass-acceleration and force-acceleration without having to use complicated force sensors or perform in-depth calculations. This engaging activity, with only 3 materials to provide, is both easy to prepare and to perform
. This student-directed activity
typically takes pupils half a class period to complete
. This gives educators time to review the lab with their students, relating it back to Newton’s second law of motion and the equation Fnet = ma, which is simply a mathematical representation of the relationship students discover on their own.
Investigations That Students are to Perform:
- Keeping the net force (Fnet) the same while changing the mass of an object
- Keeping the mass the same while changing the net force (Fnet) on an object
- Changing the net force (Fnet) in order to give 2 differently-massed objects the same acceleration
Lab Techniques Addressed by This Activity:
- Following a procedure
- Changing the independent variable
- Determining acceleration of an object (qualitatively)
- Analyzing data
Full Answer Key with Sample Answers:
- The product features a full answer key
with sample student responses
Downloadable in 2 Formats:
- This worksheet comes in 2 formats: a static PDF document
and fully-editable WORD document
- Download the full PDF preview
to see EXACTLY what you are getting!
Relevant CC Standard(s) and/or NGSS Core Idea(s) Addressed by This Product:
NGSS - MS-PS2.A
Physical Science – Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
You Might Also Like:
UNIT BUNDLE - Forces and Newton's Laws
PPT - Forces
PPT - Identifying Forces in Action
PPT - Jeopardy Game: Forces Review
Unit Overview & Key Words - Forces Unit
Worksheet - What Are Forces? (An Introduction)
Worksheet - What is Friction?
Worksheet - Gravity: Weight vs. Mass
Worksheet - Newton's Laws of Motion (An Introduction)
Worksheet - Drawing Free Body or Force Diagrams
Worksheet - Determining the Net Force
Worksheet - F=MA Word Problems (Part 1)
Worksheet - F=MA Word Problems (Part 2)
Worksheet - Momentum (P=MV) Word Problems (Part 1)
Worksheet - Momentum (P=MV) Word Problems (Part 2)
Lab - Newton's First Law of Motion
Lab - Newton's Second Law of Motion
Lab - Newton's Second and Third Laws of Motion
Quiz - What are Forces?
Quiz - Drawing Free Body Diagrams
Quiz - Newton's Laws of Motion (Multiple Choice)
Quiz - Newton's Laws of Motion in Action (Part 1)
Quiz - Newton's Laws of Motion in Action (Part 2)
Quiz - F=MA (Newton's Second Law) Word Problems
Unit Review - Forces
Unit Test - Forces
Connect with More Science With Mr. Enns Resources:
Be sure to follow my TpT store by clicking on the Follow Me
next to my seller picture to receive notifications of new products and upcoming sales.
Copyright © Douglas Enns
. All rights reserved by author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this document are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.