## Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Newton's 2nd Law: Balloon Racers - Newton's Law Expo (6 of 9) - Section 3: Student Activity

The best strategy for teaching Newton's 2nd Law that I have found, is to focus on the relationship between force (F), mass (M), and acceleration (a); which can be expressed as the formula F=ma or force (F) equals mass (m) times acceleration(a). In other words the force placed on an object is based on the object's mass and the rate of speed it is traveling.

In the prior lesson Newton's 2nd Law Demonstration, the students built a variable strip. This allows them to manipulate the three variables contained within Newton's 2nd Law.

To build, cut three holes (about the size of a quarter) at each end and in the middle of a sentence strip. Label each hole as mass, force, and acceleration (in that order). A student can then insert their finger into the hole representing the variable they wish to remain constant. By placing their finger in the other hole they can raise or lower that value and the third variable reacts accordingly (either high or lower). So if force remains constant, an increase in acceleration requires a decrease in mass. In Newton's 2nd Law Demonstration each student must present their variable strip to their elbow partner and explain how the three variables interact.

How to teach Newton's 2nd Law
Developing a Conceptual Understanding: How to teach Newton's 2nd Law

# Newton's 2nd Law: Balloon Racers - Newton's Law Expo (6 of 9)

Unit 6: Forces
Lesson 6 of 12

## Big Idea: A weighted balloon will race an unweighted balloon to demonstrate proof of Newton's 2nd Law.

Print Lesson
4 teachers like this lesson
Standards:
173 minutes

### Sean Gillette

##### Similar Lessons

###### The Wagon and The Ball
8th Grade Science » Movement of Objects in Space & Time
Big Idea: Students explore a situation that may be familiar from childhood — what happens to a ball sitting in a wagon when the wagon moves? Simple? Not necessarily.
Favorites(32)
Resources(29)
Brookline, MA
Environment: Urban

###### Force & Motion - The Basics Net Force
7th Grade Science » Energy, Force & Motion
Big Idea: What forces are at work when objects move?
Favorites(22)
Resources(14)
Hope, IN
Environment: Rural

###### Float-a-Boat: Introduction to Scientific Inquiry and Design (Part 2/2)
6th Grade Science » Forces and Motion
Big Idea: Welcome to the water park! Students will create a “lazy river” boat from aluminum foil that will hold the most passengers.
Favorites(21)
Resources(15)
Boulder, CO
Environment: Suburban