Project Description

Forces In Action

From an apple falling to the ground to a car rolling to a halt, forces are constantly at work. A stimulating, hands-on look at things that move, and why! Available in a junior and middle/senior primary format.

  • Level: Available for Foundation through to Level 6.

  • Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.

  • Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.

  • State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD

This topic is available in both a Junior and Senior version.

See below or Click Here for details on the Junior version of this workshop.

Senior Version – Level 3 to 6

Learning Outcomes (Level 3 to 6)

  • A force is a push or a pull. Gravity is the force that pulls all objects towards Earth.

  • Everything on Earth has forces acting on it. If an object is not moving, it means that the forces acting on it are balanced.

  • An unbalanced force is needed to move an object from rest or change its motion (speed and/or direction). This is Newton’s First Law of Motion.

  • Inertia is an object’s tendency to resist changes to its motion.

  • Friction is a force that resists movement. It occurs when two objects are moving past each other. Rougher surfaces produce a greater friction force.

  • When it is spinning fast, a gyroscope will resist changes to its motion. This is called rotational inertia.

  • For every force that acts, there is an equal force acting in the opposite direction. This is Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

  • Heavy moving objects are harder to stop than lighter ones. This is Newton’s Second Law of Motion.

  • Air resistance is a friction force – it slows down the movement of objects in the air. Air resistance is affected by the shape of the object.

  • Newtons is a unit used to measure forces.

Activities (Level 3 to 6)

  • Students cooperate with a partner to complete a challenging balance activity.

  • Demonstration of the classic cartesian diver, and the forces involved in floating and sinking.

  • Impressive demonstration of inertia.

  • Students explore the concept of inertia with some classic simple experiments.

  • In small groups, students measure and record the force required to move a heavy object and investigate how to increase or decrease that force.

  • Students explore gyroscopic movement using a variety of different gyroscopes.

  • Fun demonstration of Newton’s Third Law of Motion using the power of air.

  • Students explore the effect of surface area on forces with a treacherous seat of nails.

90 minute workshops also include these activities:

  • Students create a chemical reaction that demonstrates Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

  • Predict the result of a simple experiment on air resistance, then test that prediction.

Victorian Curriculum Links (Level 3 to 6)

  • Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (VCSSU064)

  • Safely use appropriate materials, tools, equipment and technologies (VCSIS067)

  • Use formal measurements in the collection and recording of observations (VCSIS068)

  • Compare observations and predictions with those of others (VCSIS054)

NSW Curriculum Links (Level 3 to 6)

  • Describes how contact and non-contact forces affect an object’s motion (ST2-9PW-ST)

  • Plans and conducts scientific investigations to answer testable questions, and collects and summarises data to communicate conclusions (ST3-1WS-S)

  • Describes how digital systems represent and transmit data (ST2-11DI-T)

Australian Curriculum Links (Level 3 to 6)

  • Forces can be exerted by one object on another through direct contact or from a distance (ACSSU076)

  • With guidance, plan and conduct scientific investigations to find answers to questions, considering the safe use of appropriate materials and equipment (ACSIS054)

  • Consider the elements of fair tests and use formal measurements and digital technologies as appropriate, to make and record observations accurately (ACSIS055)

  • Compare observations and predictions with those of others (ACSIS041)

Junior Version – Foundation to Level 2

Learning Outcomes (Foundation to Level 2)

  • Friction is a force that occurs when two things move past each other. It slows things down. Bumpy surfaces produce more friction.

  • Friction can be reduced by using a wheel to roll over a surface rather slide.

  • A gyroscope is like a spinning top. When it spins fast it resists falling over.

  • For every force that acts, there is an equal force acting in the opposite direction. This is Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

  • Air resistance is a friction force – it slows down the movement of objects in the air. Air resistance is affected by the shape of the object.

  • An object floats when the force of gravity pulling the object down is balanced by the force of the water pushing up on the object.

  • The magnetic force attracts different kinds of metals.

Activities (Foundation to Level 2)

  • Forces are discussed in the familiar context of land, air and sea vehicles.

  • Students examine the effects of friction on the movement of toy vehicles, and consider factors that must be controlled in order to perform a fair test.

  • Students explore the movement of gyroscopes, and use a variety of gyroscopes including precision, light up and rings.

  • Students predict the result of a simple experiment on air resistance, then test that prediction.

  • Fun demonstration of how fast-moving air creates a force and propels an object forward.

90 minute workshops also include these activities:

  • Explore magnet force with magnets of varying strengths.

  • Students predict, then test in groups whether an object will float or sink. Observe the difference in floating and sinking in fresh and salt water.

Victorian Curriculum Links (Foundation to Level 2)

  • The way objects move depends on a variety of factors including their size and shape: a push or a pull affects how an object moves or changes shape  (VCSSU048)

  • Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (VCSIS050)

  • Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (VCSIS051)

NSW Curriculum Links (Foundation to Level 2)

  • Observes the way objects move and relates changes in motion to push and pull forces (STe-5PW-ST)

  • Observes, questions and collects data to communicate ideas (STe-1WS-S)

Australian Curriculum Links (Foundation to Level 2)

  • The way objects move depends on a variey of factors, including their size and shape (ACSSU005)

  • Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events (ACSIS024)

  • Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions (ACSIS011)

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SCHOOL FEEDBACK

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Children were very engaged and enjoyed conducting the experiments. A perfect link to our inquiry studies. Well done!

February 2, 2016

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Asti was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. There was a great mixture between hands on activities and delivery of information.

St Dominic's Broadmeadows July 16, 2019

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Our presenter was prepared, enthusiastic and engaging. Her program aligned with our topic and we were very happy with the incursion.

Blackburn Lake Primary School August 16, 2019

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