Forces and motion home experiments
Remote teaching support for 11-14 14-16 16-19
These experiments have been selected by trained teachers as appropriate for use at home, but we have not specifically tested them for home use.
The following resources are suitable for students aged 11-14 and 14-16:
- Marvin and Milo experiments are useful for teaching younger students. Marvin and Milo explore types of forces in Unbalanced balloons (explores the contact force called tension) and Forceful Comb (explores the non-contact electrostatic force). Newton's Laws are explored in Juice Carton Sprinkler, Slinky drop, Hovercrafty, Spinning Rocket and Head hanger
- The Royal Institution Rubber Band Cannons can be used as a home based project to explore motion through the air.
Simulations can be useful to generate data in many contexts.
- An interactive simulation to investigate the law of moments.
- The basic effects of force on motion can be explored using this PhET simulation.
- The interaction of drag and weight can be experimented with using this Physics Classroom simulation - Skydiving
- Othe interactives from Physics Classroom include:
- Projectile motion simulation can be used to explore the independence of horizontal and vertical motion.
- Hooke's Law interactive simulation. This simulation shows how the force applied to a spring is proportional to the extension of the spring.
For students aged 14-19:
- Static crate investigates vectors.
- Coulomb's law interactive simulation. Students can use this to plot a graph to show the factors affecting the strength of the force between two charged objects (16-19 only).
- A similar interactive simulation explores Newton's Law of Gravity.
- Designing a Space Elevator takes students aged 16-19 through a series of material property calculations.
- A number of PhET simulations can be used to investigate simple harmonic motion. These include Masses and Springs and Pendulum Lab.
- Many useful interactives can be found at surendranath.org. Forced, Damped Oscillations is a fun one that can be used to investigate resonance
Health and Safety Guidance
All experiments are carried out at your own risk.
To avoid risk of injury or damage, we recommend that you follow the instructions as shown and that a responsible adult supervises all practical activity and considers the suitability of each task for their child.
Teachers proposing to recommend any resources to their students should:
- work within safety policies established by their school;
- use their professional judgement to assess the suitability of experiments for their students;
- direct students and their parents/guardians to follow all stated instructions.