This series of activities/assessments By Karen Ostlund and Sheryl Mercier address NGSS 3-PS2-1 on Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Students begin with an activity to explore to force of gravity and balance by making a clay ball move and change shape followed by a game of “Gravity Says.” Next, students analyze the forces acting on their “Balancing Buddy” and write an explanation to explain the cause and effect of balanced and unbalanced forces.
Then students observe how forces change the motion of an object in an engineering challenge to use forces to change the motion of an object in a variety of ways. Students write about motion and draw pictures to demonstrate their understanding of motion. Then students are presented with a picture to analyze in order to list the causes and effects of balanced and unbalanced forces.
Finally, students conduct an investigation challenge to synthesize what they learned about forces and motion by designing and building a system to make an object move in specific ways. Students conduct trials, collect data (observations/measurements), and use this as evidence to explain how balanced and unbalanced forces affect their object. Use this as your performance assessment.
NGSS 3-PS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Included in this packet are student recording sheets, rubrics for scoring, Teacher background, Science Notes for reading, Writing pages, Challenge planning pages and Full Investigation template.
Ideas for the challenge are on Pinterest at:
1. Balanced and Unbalanced Forces: Gravity and Balance
2. Gravity and Balancing Systems
3. What is Force and Motion? How do Balanced and Unbalanced Forces Affect Motion?
4. On My Own Force and Motion Challenge, Plan and Conduct an Investigation