PhET Force and Motion Simulation for 3rd Grade - NGSS 3D Resource

Grade Levels
Formats Included
  • PDF
4 pages
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Teach your students about net force and motion with this simulation write-up. This simulation write-up was recently updated for remote learning with a link to a Google Doc that can be placed directly into Google Classroom.

This product is also incredibly easy to use for homeschool, provided that your student has access to a device that can be used with the simulation.

This product is intended for use with an online simulation. Students should have access to a Chromebook or other devices. Make sure you can access this simulation on the student devices using the link below.

Standards Alignment:

Performance Expectations:

  • 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.
  • 3-PS2-2. Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.

Crosscutting Concepts

  • Cause and Effect: Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

Science and Engineering Practices

  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations: Make observations and/or measurements to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence for an explanation of a phenomenon or test a design solution

Instructional Sequence:

  • Before completing this activity, consider doing an engagement style activity. Check out THIS FREEBIE that aligns with this simulation.
  • This activity could be used early in your instructional sequence or as part of the EXPLORE phase of the 5E model.

The simulation can be viewed at:


PhET Interactive Simulations

University of Colorado Boulder

Total Pages
4 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
30 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving; and, balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all. Assessment is limited to one variable at a time: number, size, or direction of forces. Assessment does not include quantitative force size, only qualitative and relative. Assessment is limited to gravity being addressed as a force that pulls objects down.


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