Forces Make Things Move
Forces are interactions between objects that cause a push or a pull between them. We can use pushes and pulls to move objects. For example, to walk outside I have to push on the ground with my feet. Similarly, if I want to catch a baseball in my glove, I have to exert a force to stop it. Otherwise, it flies right past me.
In this activity, students apply a force to a small gemstone or rock to make it move in a variety of ways. They start by pushing on the gemstone to make it move straight, back and forth, circular, and fast and slow. Next, they attach a string to the gem and pull on it to repeat the same series of motion. Finally, they use the string to pull the gem from the start to the finish of a simple obstacle course. Along the way, they practice the movements and use the vocabulary that is needed to build their understanding of motion and forces.