A situation that people want to change or create can be approached as a problem to be solved through engineering. Such problems may have many acceptable solutions. Examples of problems requiring a solution could include having a marble or other object move a certain distance, follow a particular path, and knock down other objects. Examples of solutions could include tools such as a ramp to increase the speed of the object and a structure that would cause an object such as a marble or ball to turn.
Physical Sciences: PS1-3-1 [ICS page]
Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Each force acts on one particular object and has both strength and a direction. An object at rest typically has multiple forces acting on it, but they add to give zero net force on the object. Forces that do not sum to zero can cause changes in the object's speed or direction of motion. Examples could include an unbalanced force on one side of a ball can make it start moving, and balanced forces pushing on a box from both sides will not produce any motion at all.
Physical Sciences: PS1-3-2 [ICS page]
Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
Force applied to an object can alter the position and motion of that object: revolve, rotate, float, sink, fall, and at rest. The patterns of an object's motion in various situations can be observed and measured; when that past motion exhibits a regular pattern, future motion can be predicted from it. Examples of motion with a predictable pattern could include a child swinging in a swing, a ball rolling back and forth in a bowl, and two children on a see-saw.
Physical Sciences: PS1-3-3 [ICS page]
Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
Examples of an electric force could include the force on hair from an electrically charged balloon and the electrical force on hair from an electrically charged balloon and the electrical forces between a charged rod and pieces of paper. Examples of a magnetic force could include the force between two permanent magnets, the force between an electromagnet and steel paperclips, and the force exerted by one magnet versus the force exerted by two magnets. Examples of cause and effect relationships could include how the distance between objects affects strength of the force and how the orientation of magnets affects the direction of the magnetic force.
Physical Sciences: PS1-3-4 [ICS page]
Define a simple design problem that can be solved by applying scientific ideas about magnets.
Examples of problems could include constructing a latch to keep a door shut and creating a device to keep two moving objects from touching each other.
Physical Sciences: PS1-4-1 [ICS page]
Use evidence to construct an explanation relating the speed of an object to the energy of that object.
The faster a given object is moving, the more energy it possesses.
Physical Sciences: PS1-4-3 [ICS page]
Ask questions and predict outcomes about the changes in energy that occur when objects collide.
When objects collide, energy can be transferred from one object to another, thereby changing their motion.
Sixth Grade/Middle School
Physical Sciences: PS2-MS-1 [ICS page]
Apply Newton's Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects.
For any pair of interacting objects, the force exerted by the first object on the second object is equal in strength to the force that the second object exerts on the first, but in the opposite direction (Newton's third law). Examples of practical problems could include the impact of collisions between two cars, between a car and stationary objects, and between a meteor and a space vehicle.
Physical Sciences: PS2-MS-2 [ICS page]
Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object's motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object.
The motion of an object is determined by the sum of the forces acting on it; if the total force on the object is not zero, its motion will change. The greater the mass of the object, the greater the force needed to achieve the same change in motion. For any given object, a larger force causes a larger change in motion. All positions of objects and the directions of forces and motions must be described in an arbitrarily chosen reference frame and arbitrarily chosen units of size. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton's First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton's Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units.
Physical Sciences: PS2-MS-3 [ICS page]
Ask questions about data to determine the factors that affect the strength of electric and magnetic forces.
Electric and magnetic (electromagnetic) forces can be attractive or repulsive, and their sizes depend on the magnitudes of the charges, currents, or magnetic strengths involved and on the distances between the interacting object. Examples of devices that use electric and magnetic forces could include electromagnets, electric motors, or generators. Examples of data could include the effect of the number of turns of wire on the strength of an electromagnet, or the effect of increasing the number or strength of magnets on the speed of an electric motor.
Physical Sciences: PS2-MS-4 [ICS page]
Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
Gravitational forces are always attractive. There is a gravitational force between any two masses, but it is very small except when one or both of the objects have large mass-e.g., Earth and the sun. Examples of evidence for arguments could include data generated from simulations or digital tools; and charts displaying mass, strength of interaction, distance from the Sun, and orbital periods of objects within the solar system.
Physical Sciences: PS2-MS-5 [ICS page]
Conduct an investigation and evaluate the experimental design to provide evidence that fields exist between objects exerting forces on each other even though the objects are not in contact.
Forces that act at a distance (electric, magnetic, and gravitational) can be explained by fields that extend through space and can be mapped by their effect on a test object (a charged object, or a ball, respectively). Examples of this phenomenon could include the interactions of magnets, electrically-charged strips of tape, and electrically-charged pith balls. Examples of investigations could include first-hand experiences or simulations.
Physical Sciences: PS3-MS-1 [ICS page]
Construct and interpret graphical displays of data to describe the relationships of kinetic energy to the mass of an object and to the speed of an object.
Motion energy is properly called kinetic energy; it is proportional to the mass of the moving object and grows with the square of its speed. Emphasis is on descriptive relationships between kinetic energy and mass separately from kinetic energy and speed. Examples could include riding a bicycle at different speeds, rolling different sizes of rocks downhill, and getting hit by a whiffle ball versus a tennis ball.