Unit 3:

Forces and Motion


As a NASA engineer, you must design, build, and test a transport vehicle for future interplanetary missions. 


Essential Question:

How can we design and test vehicles that can land safely?


Student Take Aways:

Forces affect the movement of an object.


Big Ideas:

A force is a push or a pull that can change an object's velocity. Heavy objects are harder to move and stop. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Vocabulary Challenge

Sir Isaac Newton
"If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."


Newton's 1st Law of Motion

"Objects at rest, stay at rest. Objects in motion, stay in motion. With the same speed and direction,

unless acted upon by an unbalanced force."


  • ​​​If an object is moving, it will continue moving with a constant velocity (in a straight line and with a constant speed) unless a net force acts on it.  ​

  • If an object is at rest, it will stay at rest unless a net force acts on it.  Inertia is the tendency of the motion of an object to remain constant in terms of both speed and direction.

“Change has to be hard because you're fighting against inertia.” 
― James Thornton

More Mass,

More Inertia


It will take more force to change an objects direction; whether at rest or in motion.


Force = Mass x Acceleration

 Newton's 2nd Law of Motion

Force influences the shape and motion of an object.

Mass is the measure of the amount of matter in an object. Acceleration is the ratio of its change in velocity and time taken.

Ken Griffey Jr. quickly changes the direction of a fastball.

Are measured in Newtons (N) and is anything that will change the direction of an object. Every force is a push or pull.  A magnet is a perfect example of both forces when lining up the North and South poles.  Gravity pulls us to earth while a sumo wrestler may push you to defeat.

Changer of Motions


It is more difficult to change the direction of a heavy moving object.  Heavy objects have more mass, and need more force in order to move them.  The matter inside of you makes up your mass (you know all your molecules and stuff).  Your weight is simply your mass multiplied by the force of gravity (9.8m/s squared)  That is why you weight less on the moon, but still matter just the same.

The Matter Within


The result of all forces acting on an object.  How fast does it pick up speed? Average speed = Distance divided by Time (s=d/t). But a drag ca racer going 0-60mph in 4 seconds does not have an average speed, it varies.  Acceleration is the Average of the initial speed, and the final speed.

Faster and Faster


If you know any 2 of these, you can solve to find the other.
Force is measured in Newtons
Mass in Killograms
Acceleration in meters per second squared.

Action - Reaction

 Newton's 3rd Law of Motion

"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

-Sir Isaac Newton

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