Applied Science - Physics (1B)

  • Exploring movement.
  • Investigating how objects move.


  • acceleration
  • energy
  • friction
  • movement
  • worksheet
  • guac ball
  • Newton yo-yo
  • space ball
  • foam ball or any soft squishy ball
  • rubber ball
  • orbiter
  • balloons
  • or other appropriate toys

Students use a toys to investigate motion.


The modern use of the term motion was created by the Italian scientist Galileo Galilei (1564-1642). Galileo investigated the motion of a freely falling object. He concluded that all objects (unless influenced by obstacles such as air pressure) travel at the same acceleration. Galileo dropped objects to see if they hit the bottom at the same time. Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) formulated the following three laws of motion. The first law states that particles continue in a state of rest or motion with constant speed in a straight line unless changed by an outside force. The second law states the change of motion is equal to the mass of that object and how fast it is accelerating. The third law states that for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.

Do not expect your children to understand all these laws of motion. Students should learn how to observe different motion and to ask questions about those motions. The world they live in moves from one place to another. If you can guide their mind to think about what they see, you have started their exploration of motion.


The following are activities with the items in the module. Instruct students to record their motion observations on the lab sheet through art or discuss the motion after they complete their activity. Parent help is recommended in order to divide students into small groups. (You may substitute or add other toys that illustrate different types of motion.)

  1. Balloons - Have the students blow up the balloons and release the balloon. Ask them to describe the motion. The balloon "races" backwards. The air is being released one way and the balloon reacts and moves in the opposite direction.
  2. Two balls - Use the two balls in the package. Have students put their hands above their head with one ball in each hand. Release the balls at the same time. Students should observe that the balls hit the ground at the same time.
  3. Newton's Yo-yo - Have the students make the balls hit. Notice that the first ball stops when it hits the second ball. Notice on the second hit that the balls going in opposite directions meet at the top and at the bottom. This demonstrates that for every action there is an opposite but equal reaction.
  4. Guac ball - Have the students try and throw it in a straight line. It will not go in a straight line because another force (the sand at one end) will prevent its straight path.
  5. Space ball - Have the students put different forces on the ball and see what happens. The more force a student exerts on the ball the faster it will go. It will also go higher.
  6. Orbiter - Have students attempt to make this spin. You must turn the orbiter, then move the ends in and out to see a pulsating motion.

 [Back to Applied Science Grid] [Back to Physics (1)]