As a physical science teacher, you understand the importance of creating simple yet, memorable and engaging learning experiences for your students. So, when teaching about forces and Newton's Laws of motion, simply let your students explore. Yes, there are many activities you can incude in your motion and forces unit to help your students master the standards. But, what if I told you there are four activities guaranteed to help your students learn? Explore force and Newton's Laws of Motion with four simple activities.

### Activity 1: Balance Bots to Explore Force and Newton's Laws of Motion

This activity is a fun and engaging way to introduce your students to balanced and unbalanced forces. So, what exactly is a balance bot? Keep reading or check out this Science from the South Instagram post or Reel.

Long story short, it's a structure with googly eyes that balances on the tip of your finger with a toothpick. The goal is to create a balance bot (using simple materials like toothpicks, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, modeling clay, cotton balls, plastic cups, paper clips, etc.) that can balance independently. As they build, students explore force and how adding or removing mass affects the system's ability to balance. This activity is perfect for ensuring that your middle and high school students remember the concept of balanced and unbalanced forces, with very little prep required by the science teacher. Want to learn more about how we explore force and Newton's laws of motion? Keep reading below to discover more about how we explain Newton's laws of motion through facilitation of the science lesson.

### Activity 2: Egg Spinning

Newton's first law of motion states that an object at rest will stay at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. To illustrate this concept and further explore force and Newton's laws of motion, first, give your students two eggs, one boiled and one not boiled. Next, have your students spin each egg on a flat surface and then try to stop it with their hands. They'll quickly observe and discover that one egg wants to keep moving while the other does not. Viola! You have a phenomenon to initiate a conversation about Newton's 1st law of motion and inertia. Check out this video from my Instagram Reels.

### Activity 3: Accelerating Masses

Newton's second law of motion states that the acceleration of an object is proportional to the force acting on it and inversely proportional to its mass. To illustrate this concept and explore force and Newton's laws of motion, give your students a ping-pong, tennis, and golf ball. First, they will need to measure the mass. Upon doing so, they will observe that the tennis ball has the most mass while the ping pong ball has the least. Next, have your students blow on the tennis ball, golf ball, and ping pong ball and observe the speed at which each travels. Viola! You have a phenomenon to initiate a conversation about the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration.

### Activity 4: Balloon Rockets to Explore Force and Newton's Laws of Motion

Newton's third law of motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. To illustrate this concept and explore force and Newton's laws of motion, have your students design and launch a balloon rocket using a straw, string, and a balloon, of course. They'll see firsthand how the force of the air escaping from the balloon (action force) propels the rocket (reaction force) in the opposite direction. You can make the challenge even more exciting and engaging by giving your students tasks such as popping a balloon at the end of the string, traveling a designated distance or the farthest, or carrying an object as it travels down the string.

Finally, these activities can be used in middle or high school science classrooms to master the standards with very little prep (other than providing supplies). When you engage your students in these inquiry-based investigations, they're more likely to remember what they're learning. You simply facilitate the exploration and guide your students to connect the experiences to their learning concepts. I guarantee you'll help your students become more engaged in the learning process and create a memorable and meaningful experience for them as a novice or master teachers. Incorporating these activities into your physical science lessons can be a game-changer. Plus, they're just plain fun! So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and give them a try. Your students will thank you for it.

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