Forces and Motion

Both forces and lengths count

Teaching Guidance for 11-14 Supporting Physics Teaching

Not just bigger forces

Wrong Track: The force on this side is bigger so it must go down.

Right Lines: To predict what will happen with a lever you need to consider both the force and the distance on either side of the pivot.

Strength of force and length from the pivot

Thinking about the learning

With levers you must pay attention to both the size of the forces acting and the perpendicular lengths from the pivot (the length from the pivot to the line of action of the force).

Thinking about the teaching

So that pupils take length and force equally seriously make sure that both are emphasised (marked and labelled clearly) in any diagrams that you draw of levers.

Limit Less Campaign

Support our manifesto for change

The IOP wants to support young people to fulfil their potential by doing physics. Please sign the manifesto today so that we can show our politicians there is widespread support for improving equity and inclusion across the education sector.

Sign today