Factors Influencing Motion: Newton’s First and Second Laws Science Games

11 games

In this series of games, your students will learn about net forces and the relationship between force, mass, and acceleration. The Factors Influencing Motion: Newton’s First and Second Laws learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.

Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.

Concepts Covered

A force is a push or a pull acting on an object. It is a vector quantity, which means it has both a magnitude and a direction. The sum of all forces acting on an object is called the net force, and when it equals zero, the forces are balanced.

Newton’s First Law introduces inertia, the tendency of an object to resist a change in motion. If the forces acting on an object are balanced, its motion will not change, and vice versa. This is true whether or not the object is already moving.

To keep an object moving at a constant velocity, no net force is required. On Earth, this doesn’t appear to be true, but that is because forces like gravity, friction, and air resistance are always acting on objects. These forces must be balanced to keep the object moving at a constant velocity.

If an object is accelerating, meaning changing speed or direction, an unbalanced net force must be acting on it. Acceleration is the change in velocity over time (*a = v/t*).

Newton’s Second Law states the equation *a *= *F/m*, where *a* is acceleration, *F* is force, and *m* is mass. The greater the force acting on an object, the more it accelerates. The greater its mass, the greater its inertia, meaning the more force it takes to accelerate it.

A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.

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