Physics/Physical Science Laboratory Experiments

There are a variety of activities for Physics and Physical Science. You can find some of our more commonly requested activities below the request forms on this page, or you can view our up-to-date complete list of all activities:

Physical Science Middle School complete list

Physics High School complete list

Physics Scheduling Form for activities below

Physics Feedback Form for activities below

Middle School Students enjoying a Science In Motion lesson.
Commonly Requested Activities for Physics/Physical Science:

Ball Toss (vertical) (High School)

Distance, velocity, and acceleration: Students collect distance, velocity, and acceleration data as a ball travels straight up and down. Then they analyze the distance vs. time, velocity vs. time, and acceleration vs. time graphs.


Kinetic and potential energy: Students measure the change in the kinetic and potential energies and observe how the total energy of a ball changes as it moves in free fall

Crash Dummies (Middle School)

Students study the relationship between car velocity and the distance a “crash dummy” is thrown during a collision.

Density (both)

Students will predict if a material will sink or float. Then they will measure mass and volume to determine density of a variety of cubes (metals, woods, plastics).

Pulleys (both)

Students measure the force needed and efficiency of three different pulley systems.

Sound (both)

Sound waves and beats: Uses a Vernier microphone to measure the frequency, period, amplitude, and beats of sound waves from tuning forks.

Speed of sound in air: Uses a Vernier microphone to measure how long it take sound to travel down and back in a long tube.  Students then calculate the speed of their sound, and compare their calculated value to the accepted value for the speed of sound in air.

Speeding Up (Middle School)

 Students measure the speed of a cart as it rolls down a ramp from different starting positions. Then then determine the relationship between velocity and release point. A possible follow-up to this activity (an additional class period) is to race cars down the ramp.

Spheros

Spheros are paired with a Kindle Fire (provided) through the SpheroEdu app. Beginners can draw a path for the Sphero robot to follow, intermediate users can drag and drop blocks of code, and advanced users can write text programs using JavaScript. Provide your own activities, or use one of the SpheroEdu prepared modules aligned to NGSS, CCSS, and various state standards.

Contact Science In Motion staff for more information.

Static & Kinetic Friction (High School)

Students use a force sensor and motion detector to measure the force of static and kinetic friction, determine the relationship between the force of static friction and the weight of an object, measure the coefficients of static and kinetic friction for a particular block and track, and determine if the coefficient of kinetic friction depends on weight.