Forces

Science Year 5 May the Forces Be With You

A rare and valuable meteorite has just landed on Earth and the Natural History Museum is sending in a recovery team to retrieve it. As the remote part of this retrieval team you need to overcome an array of challenges that will require you to put your knowledge and understanding of forces into action. May the forces be with you.

Session 1 Forces mission training camp

Objectives

A rare and important meteorite has landed in a remote part of Europe. The Natural History Museum recovery team is on its way to retrieve it, but they need a remote back up team with forces expertise. Are you up for the challenge?

Science Objectives
i) Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.

Working Scientifically

  1. Identify scientific evidence that has been used to support or refute ideas or arguments.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Biography: Research key facts about Isaac Newton and write a brief biography for a science hall of fame.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Know what gravity and resistance are and identify balanced and unbalanced forces.
  • Compose scientific enquiry questions.

Activities

  1. Identify and label gravity and resistance forces, identifying balanced and unbalanced forces.
  2. Compose forces scientific enquiry questions based on observations of the world around them.

Vocabulary
Support, fall, Earth, gravity, air resistance, friction, balancing force, weight, newtons, resistance force

Session 2 Parachuting in

Objectives

Parachuting In
The recovery team needs to parachute in to begin the process of repatriation - but which parachute is best? Your remote team needs to work out the solution.

Science Objectives
i) Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.

ii) Identify the effects of air resistance, that acts between moving surfaces.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, and tables.
  4. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  5. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral form.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths

  • Calculate and compare the area of rectangles (including squares) using square centimetres (cm2).
  • Use all four operations to solve problems involving measure using decimal notation, including scaling.
  • Scale speed from cm/second to m/min and km/hr.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Plan an investigation into the effectiveness of various parachutes.
  • Identify variables that need to change and that need to stay constant.
  • Record data using a ‘best of three’ approach.
  • Video record findings offering possible explanations.

Activities

  1. Explore parachutes and air resistance, identifying enquiry questions for investigating effective parachutes.
  2. Set up and carry out a parachute investigation to determine which one travels the slowest (and safest). Recording data and drawing conclusions.
  3. Calculate the area of the parachute and its scaled up speed.
  4. Video recommendations for the best parachute design and materials for the job, based on findings.

Investigation - problem solving/fair testing
Investigate parachutes and air resistance.

Vocabulary
Variables, support, fall, Earth, gravity, air resistance, friction, moving surfaces

Session 3 The lever and pulley challenge

Objectives

The meteorite is in a big hole - how will the recovery team get it out in order to retrieve it? Take a masterclass in levers and pulleys in order to send a brief to your forces on the ground.

Science Objectives

i) Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.

iii) Recognise that some mechanisms, including levers and pulleys, allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels and tables.
  4. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  5. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in written forms.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths

  • Use all four operations to solve problems involving measure using decimal notation, including scaling.
  • Scale weights and lengths using appropriate calculations.

You Will Need

Provided Resources

  • Transcript from NHM recovery team phone call
  • Types of lever
  • Lever investigation guidance (child facing)
  • Pulley images, instructions and guidance
  • Calculations for positioning a fulcrum

Additional Resources

  • Lever investigation equipment

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate how levers work. Explore how the position of fulcrum, load and effort impacts on use.
  • Investigate how pulleys work and how the number of pulleys used changes the effort required.
  • Draw diagrams that explain the forces, loads, weights and efforts for levers and pulleys.

Activities

  1. Investigate how levers work and how the position of the fulcrum impacts on its effectiveness.
  2. Scale weights and lengths.
  3. Investigate how pulleys work and note the correlation between effort required and the number of pulleys.
  4. Set out instructions for forces on the ground to help them implement findings from investigations.

Investigation - problem solving/fair testing
Investigate and create levers.
Investigate and create pulleys.

Vocabulary
Variables, accuracy, precision, causal relationships, gravity, mechanisms, levers, pulleys, transfers

Session 4 The bike gears challenge

Objectives

The meteorite is on its way, but the rest of the team are on bikes - and the gears are not labelled. Can you help them to work out which gears will help them on which terrain?

Science Objectives
i) Recognise that gear mechanisms allow a smaller force to have a greater effect.

ii) Identify the effects of friction, that acts between moving surfaces.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  3. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  4. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Other Curriculum Areas
Maths

  • Solve problems involving multiplication and division, including scaling by simple fractions and problems involving simple rates.

Extended Writing Opportunity
Journalistic reports: Write an article, for a cycling magazine, based on your investigation of bike gears and tell them the best gear combinations for specific terrains.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Understand how gears and gear ratios work.
  • Identify appropriate gear combinations for specific terrains.
  • Identify and record gear ratios.

Activities

  1. Explore gears noting how they help cyclists ride.
  2. Calculate gear ratios.
  3. Recommend gear combinations that relate to specific terrains.

Investigation - problem solving/fair testing
Investigate gears.

Vocabulary
Variables, accuracy, precision, gravity, friction, moving surfaces, mechanisms, gears, transfers

Session 5 The Goldilocks path challenge

Objectives

Your team has reached a three way split of paths, all with differing surfaces. Can you recommend the path that won’t be too fast or too slow, but just right?

Science Objectives
i) Identify the effects of friction that acts between moving surfaces.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  5. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate the effect ground friction has on movement.
  • Identify an appropriate amount of friction for the safe onward journey of a bike.
  • Use results to make further predictions and suggest further investigation.

Activities

  1. Investigate the effect of ground friction on the force needed to move a toy car.
  2. Recommend a ground covering that creates the right level of friction for the safe onward journey of a bike.
  3. Predict the likely speed of a bike on different surfaces, based on findings from friction investigation.

Investigation - problem solving/fair testing

Investigate friction.

Vocabulary
Variables, accuracy, precision, gravity, friction, moving surfaces, mechanisms, gears, transfers

Session 6 The boat challenge

Objectives

Science Objectives
i) Explain that unsupported objects fall towards the Earth because of the force of gravity acting between the Earth and the falling object.

ii) Identify the effects of water resistance, that acts between moving surfaces.

Working Scientifically

  1. Plan different types of scientific enquiries to answer questions, including recognising and controlling variables where necessary.
  2. Take measurements, using a range of scientific equipment, with increasing accuracy and precision, taking repeat readings when appropriate.
  3. Record data and results of increasing complexity using scientific diagrams and labels, tables, scatter graphs, bar and line graphs.
  4. Use test results to make predictions to set up further comparative and fair tests.
  5. Report and present findings from enquiries, including conclusions, causal relationships and explanations of and degree of trust in results, in oral and written forms such as displays and other presentations.

Extended Writing Opportunities
Explanation: Based on your scientific investigation, explain clearly to the recovery team leader which shape of boat is best for crossing safely across a water way and why, giving scientific reasons.

Teaching and Activities

Teaching

  • Investigate and identify the effect of boat shape on water resistance.
  • Investigate and identify the effect of salty water on water resistance.
  • Present findings and recommendations, based on scientific evidence, in written form.

Activities

  1. Investigate and identify which shape of boat is best to beat the water resistance of a river, offering an explanation.
  2. Make recommendations for the best boat shape and waterway to get the meteorite across, based on scientific evidence.

Investigation - problem solving/fair testing
Investigate boats and water resistance.

Vocabulary
Variables, accuracy, causal relationships, support/refute, fall, gravity, water resistance