This is a 5e extension task I designed to have students apply Newton’s Laws to a real-world situation. I use it to scaffold students to prepare for the NGSS performance assessments related to MS-PS-2, Motion and Forces.
This task was given at the end of a unit on Forces and Motion and I plan on 2 to 3, 55 minute class periods to complete. But you may need more or less time based on your students comfort level with using technology, especially editing photographs.
I plan two periods for completing the project and one period a few days later for student revisions of the project after being given teacher feedback. If you choose to not do revisions, it will take less time.
I generally pace it as one period for planning the accident and getting teacher feedback on the planning sheet before I let kids start creating the scenes.
I set aside one period for creating the accident reconstruction scenes, taking the photos, and writing up the final report.
I emphasize to students the importance of time management and set daily work goals with the class, otherwise some students will spend the majority of the time playing with the cars and building the reconstruction scene.
For this task I had a collection of toy cars, construction paper and other basic craft supplies available. Students did bring in additional toys, in most cases motorcycles and car tracks.
I also had access to technology (iPads and chrome books for taking photos). If allowed, students may also use phone to take photos of the accident scene reconstructions. I had students upload the photos to their school google drive and use Google Paint to annotate the photos to add in force arrows and text as needed.
I did have several groups decide to do just sketches on paper for the task and I would suggest that as a low or no technology option.
I offer scaffolding and sentence stems to help with the writing of the story-line. I also accept more qualitative descriptions of the net forces.
I have given higher level students a more complex task by asking that they include 3 vehicles in the story-line. Another possible modification is that I expect these students to calculate acceleration of the vehicles and the net force for each vehicle. Students can use the included data tables to find out the average mass of vehicles and common speeds in m/s for these calculations.
Zipped Folder with PDF and MS Word Docs.
- Cover and TOU PDF (2 pages)
- Teacher notes PDF (2 pages)
- Student Directions PDF ( 1 page)
- Student Planning Sheet PDF (1 page)
- Student Tip Sheet PDF (2 pages)
- Student Project Template MS WORD (2 pages)
- Rubric PDF (1 page)
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