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Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation

name:_______________________
period: _________________
Learning Objective: Students will understand that the motion of objects depends on the sum of the forces
on the object and the mass of the object.

Background Information: Complete the following investigation to help you understand how forces change
the motion of objects.

Part 1: The Problem

Bob has been asked to visit a middle school classroom to explain the physics of water slides to some
students. Complete the investigation to help Bob collect accurate information about how Newtons Laws of
Motion apply to a water park.

Part 2: Using Simulations to Model Motion

1. Click this link: https://phet.colorado.edu/sims/html/forces-and-motion-basics/latest/forces-and-


motion-basics_en.html or search: phet forces motion basic html

The screen should look like this:

Part 3: Exploring Net Force

1. Click on Net Force


2. Complete the following activities:

What is net force? Written answer:

Make observations when you conduct Written or drawn observations:


the investigation:
1. Place a person on each side of
the rope.
2. Hit the go button.
3. Hit the Return button. Try it
again with either the same
amount of people on each side
or a different amount of people
on each side.
Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation
4. Hit the Reset all button. Click
box next to sum of forces and
values, continue putting men
on each side.
5. Hit the Return button.

Make the blue team win. What is the Written or drawn observations:
net force like?

Make the red team win. What is the Written or drawn observations:
net force like?

Make the teams tie. What is the net Written or drawn observations:
force like?

Develop an equation for Net (total) ForceNet =


Force.

If the net force is not zero, what is the Written answer:


motion of the object like?

If the net force is zero, what is the Written answer:


motion of the object like?

Think of one example where Bob Written or drawn answer:


would need to calculate the net force
on a person at the water park.
Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation

Part 4: Exploring Motion

1. Click on Motion
2. Complete the following activities:

Make observations when you conduct Written or drawn observations:


the investigation:
1. Check the boxes next to force,
values, masses, and speed.
2. Change the applied force to 200
N. The screen should look like
this:

3. Count to ten, what happens?


(Look at the speedometer)
4. Hit reset button.

What must be true if the cart continues Written answer:


at the same speed in the same
direction? (Think about Law 1).

Repeat steps 1 - 3 with the refrigerator. Written or drawn observations:


What happens? (Look at the
speedometer).

Repeat steps 1 - 3 using different Written or drawn observations:


objects or people and different applied
forces. What happens? (Look at the
speedometer).

What happens to the speed as Written answer:


different objects are added and the
applied force is different?
Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation
How much time does it take for Object Mass Applied Time (Use
different objects, with same applied force stopwatch)
force, get to maximum speed? (Newtons)
Maximum speed is reach when the 1 crate 300N
speedometer cannot go any further. 2 crates 300N
(Record your answers in table below.) Refrigerator 300N
Man 300N
Girl 300N
Mystery 300N
Object

To use the stopwatch:


http://www.online-
stopwatch.com/full-screen-stopwatch/

Does the objects mass affect the time Written answer:


it takes for the object to reach
maximum speed?

What do you think the mystery objects Written answer:


mass might be based on how long it
took to reach maximum speed at
300N?

Think of one example where Bob Written or drawn answer:


would need to consider mass and
acceleration at the water park.

Part 5: Exploring Friction

1. Click on Friction
2. Complete the following activities:

What is friction? Written answer:

Make observations when you conduct the Written or drawn observations:


investigation:
1. Check the boxes next to forces,
sum of forces, values, masses, and
speed.
2. Place the refrigerator on the
screen. Change the applied force
to 500 N using the arrows. The
screen should look like this:
Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation

3. What happened? Did the


refrigerator move?

Written or drawn observations:


1. Hit reset button.
2. Check all boxes again.
3. Place the refrigerator on the
screen. Change the applied force
to 500 N using the arrows.
4. Slide the friction tab toward
None.
5. What happens as you slide the
friction tab closer to None?

Written or drawn observations:


1. Hit reset button.
2. Check all boxes again.
3. Place any object or people on the
screen.
4. Change the applied force to 500 N
using the arrows.
5. Slide the friction tab toward
None or Lots.
6. What happens as you slide the
friction tab closer to None or
Lots?

1. Calculate the Sum of Forces using Object Applied Friction Sum of


the number sentence or equation Force (N) Force (N) Forces (N)
you came up with on the first page. Crate 200 125
2. Complete the table. Fill in the Man 472 272
missing values. Refrigerator 51 99
Girl 363 100
Mystery 100 100
Object

Click the Sum of Forces box. Did you get Written answer:
the same number using your number
sentence or equation?

If you did not, how can you revise your


number sentence or equation to match
the Sum of Forces provided on the screen?
Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation
How does the force placed on an object Written answer:
affect how it moves?

What happens to the motion of the object Written answer:


if there is too much friction?

What happens to the motion of the object Written answer:


if only a little friction is added?

Where at the water park might Bob need Written answer:


to consider friction?

Part 6: Exploring Acceleration

1. Click on Acceleration
2. Complete the following activities:

What is acceleration? Written answer:

Make observations when you conduct the Written or drawn observations:


investigation:
1. Check the boxes next to forces,
sum of forces, values, masses,
speed and acceleration.
2. Place a box on the track.
3. Slide the friction to None.
4. Find a way to make the box
accelerate.
How do you make the box speed up? Written or drawn observations:
Unit 1: Scientific Inquiry/Forces and Motion Newtons Laws Simulation Investigation
Any change in motion is called Object Mass Acceleration Force (N)
acceleration. When does the box (Kg) (m/s/s)
accelerate? What is the acceleration of Girl 40 10 400
each item? Man 80 400
Bucket 100 500

Develop an equation for force.


Force = ________________ x _____________________

Develop an equation for acceleration.


Acceleration =

Develop an equation for mass.


Mass =

How much force would Bob need to move Written answer:


the 200kg fridge to the food court if he
accelerates the fridge 5m/s2?

Part 7: Communicating Scientifically

Develop three important conclusions about motion that Bob should report during his presentation:

1.

2.

3.