Force and Motion: The Driving Force Behind Scientific Learning

Jennifer Dalesandro, Physical Science/Force and Motion, Bain Elementary

Final Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)

200 Word Synopsis

The objective of this unit is to be used as a published resource for teachers facilitating force and motion common core curriculum primarily for the third grade classroom. Other grade levels may be able to implement the content of this unit as a refresher of previous learned principles or as support for further scientific concepts. This curriculum unit addresses the concept of force and motion as it pertains to our everyday lives and the role it plays in the motorsports world of NASCAR.  By making a real life connection to NASCAR, third grade students will develop a deeper understanding of the concept of force and motion. This unit begins by teaching a concrete scientific foundation of Newton’s Three Laws of Motion. After students grasp the science behind the motion, the interactive application of the principles begins. To create a “hands on” experience, students form cooperative learning race teams and use modified matchbox cars to test the principles of force and motion on a classroom-sized racetrack by a series of “runs”. The first run is timed trials between teammates to determine their fastest car. After timed trials, teams face-off against other teams in races to determine the overall winner. Through the modifying and testing of the matchbox cars, the differing learning styles are addressed within the classroom reinforcing the learning experience of the force and motion scientific principles for all students.