Zula STEM | Force | Move It!

Grade Levels
K - 5th
Formats Included
  • PDF


This engaging, hands-on, STEM mission, can be easily led remotely or done with minimal adult guidance at home. This mission consists of multiple hands-on activities which introduce students to forces through experimentation with moving objects. Missions are science-based but also incorporate connections with math, language arts, creative arts, and social studies. Zula STEM began as the children’s science television show The Zula Patrol on PBS. Included in this mission is a link to the Zula Patrol episode “Show of Force” which discusses force and reinforces key ideas in this mission.

Total Pages
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
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.
Make observations and/or measurements of an object’s motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw. Assessment does not include technical terms such as period and frequency.
Support an argument that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. “Down” is a local description of the direction that points toward the center of the spherical Earth. Assessment does not include mathematical representation of gravitational force.
Analyze data to determine if a design solution works as intended to change the speed or direction of an object with a push or a pull. Examples of problems requiring a solution could include having a marble or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path, and knock down other objects. Examples of solutions could include tools such as a ramp to increase the speed of the object and a structure that would cause an object such as a marble or ball to turn. Assessment does not include friction as a mechanism for change in speed.


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