Forces and energy


Indigenous spinning tops - Year 2 CLE

Description: In this investigation, students explore how push/pull forces can be applied to make an object move, in the context of spinning tops. They observe characteristics of successful spinners, and notice how a force is applied to set them in motion, or to make them stop.

Learning intentions

Students will be able to:

Back and forth CLE - Year 10

This online resource is an ASSIST Connected Learning Experience (CLE) to help teach Year 10 students the concepts involved in energy transformation and conservation.

Description: In this investigation, energy transformation and energy conservation are investigated by analysing the motion of a pendulum.

Learning intentions

Students will be able to:

Assessment Year 4 forces

I’m planning to run a physical sciences unit with my Year 4 class (forces), and plan to use some of the activities from the ASSIST resource ‘Investigating contact and non-contact forces'.  Have you any advice on criteria to assess A-E? Can you give some guidance about what I should expect of ‘above standard’ work?

Blow-and-go parachute

This online resource gives instructions for a student activity which explores the concept of unbalanced forces through the creation of a model skydiver.

Students make a skydiver and parachute contraption to demonstrate how drag caused by air resistance slows the descent of skydivers as they travel back to Earth. Gravity pulls the skydiver toward the Earth, while the air trapped by the parachute provides an upward resisting force (drag) on the skydiver.

Engineering Connection

Energy - Science by Doing

This online resource is an inquiry-based learning sequence covering the different aspects of energy covered by the Australian Curriculum: Science.

The resource includes: hands-on activities, digital interactives, animations and videos, and the topics covered include: energy types, gravity, mass, weight, inertia, work, force, simple machines, friction, heat, conduction, evaporation, convection, specific heat, temperature, light  spectrum, cyclones, circuits, battery, motors and generators, force fields, food chains, photosynthesis, and energy production.

Science of toys - Science by Doing

This Science by Doing online resource covers forces, energy, mass, weight, friction, Hooke's law, Newton's three laws, fair testing and variables.

This resource is an inquiry-based learning sequence of hands-on activities, digital interactives, animations and videos. Students can conduct practical tasks exploring various forces and learn to construct free-body diagrams.

A teacher guide, activity sheets and assessment items are available.

Slinky drop video

This online resource is a short video about what happens to the top and bottom of a stretched slinky spring as it falls. The clip is taken from the ABC television show Catalyst

The video shows interviews with various people on the street who try to predict what will happen when a stretched slinky is dropped. Slow motion footage reveals the answer, which might amaze you ... it did amaze them!

Investigating contact and non-contact forces

These downloadable MS Word documents explore non-contact forces (e.g., magnetism and gravity) and contact forces (e.g., friction and air resistance).

The forces are investigated through three activities: balloon rockets, magnet strength, and a rolling car.

The documents also include support materials and the appropriate links to the Australian Curriculum: Science.

Lunar lander

This online resource is a simulation of the lunar lander from the Apollo missions.

Can you avoid the boulder field and land safely, just before your fuel runs out, as Neil Armstrong did in 1969?

This classic video game accurately simulates the real motion of the lunar lander with the correct mass, thrust, fuel consumption rate, and lunar gravity.

If done correctly, softly landing the lunar lander in different positions each time means that students understand thrust and acceleration.


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