Observing Forces Of Motion

Observing Forces Of Motion

When something moves, a lot is going on that we don’t see. But we can make deductions based on our observations of different movements! Try moving different objects on different surfaces and see what you learn.
Download a Printer-Friendly PDF
Build a Craft Stick Catapult

Build a Craft Stick Catapult

From Engines!

Ancient armies used catapults in battle. But the catapult has been used as recently as World War I. In that war, soldiers used catapults to toss hand grenades at the enemy. Today, catapults are used to launch planes off the decks of huge ships called aircraft carriers. Because the runway is short on an aircraft carrier, the catapult helps get the plane into the air quickly. Try making your own!

Design a Poll

Design a Poll

From Big Data

Often, data is collected using a poll or survey. A poll or survey asks questions about people’s opinion on a topic. In this activity, you will design and conduct your own poll.

Take a Turing Test

Take a Turing Test

From Artificial Intelligence

In 1950, an English computer scientist named Alan Turing (1912–1954) devised a test to tell a person from a computer. You’re going to try this with a Chatbot. This is an online computer program that is designed to mimic a human.

Designer vs. Maker

Designer vs. Maker

From Industrial Design

The growth of factories and mass production allowed companies to separate the design of products from their manufacture. It became easier to produce goods that were affordable for many people. At the same time, separating design from manufacturing can cause some problems. In this activity, you will explore some of the differences between craft-based design and mass production.



“Accurately aimed at its intended audience and complete with vivid and informative graphics, Projectile Science is an extremely readable yet factually accurate account of mechanics and its applications to projectiles.”

—Ramamurti Shankar, John Randolph Huffman Professor of Physics, Yale University

“Packed with interesting facts; sure to engage its audience.”

—Nino Polizzi, BSEE, engineering instructor, Samueli Academy

“An interesting way to make classical motion concepts relevant to young readers.”

—Vince Huegele, committee chairman, National Association of Rocketry Education University School

Detailed Book Description

What are the forces behind projectiles? Why do rocks and rockets soar through the air in an arch?

The game is on the line. You crouch, you shoot—will the ball go in the basket?

You might think that nailing a three-pointer is just luck, but there are many forces at work that determine if you’ve made a game-winning shot. In Projectile Science: The Physics Behind Kicking a Field Goal and Launching a Rocket with Science Activities with Kids, readers ages 10 to 15 learn why projectiles follow the paths they do. Young learners who are fascinated with potato cannons, slingshots, and rocketry will love taking that next step and applying what they learn about the laws of physics to the science of figuring out where to aim. In this book, readers learn about the forces that act on the projectiles and how to calculate those forces to make educated predictions about where their homemade rockets and other projectiles will land.

Essential questions that promote critical examination of the science, primary sources, online videos, and science-minded engineering activities let readers have a blast learning about the physics of ballistics!

Try these hands-on science and engineering projects!

  • Perform Galileo's famous test for gravity
  • Create clinometers to measure height and distance
  • Build a machine that can throw curve balls
Available In:
Hardcover, $22.95
Paperback, $17.95
Includes: Table of Contents | Timeline | Maps | Glossary | Resources | Index | Metric Conversions Chart
Specs: 8 x 10 size | 4-color interior | 128 pages
Subject: Science
Content Focus: Engineering & Technology


Timeline . . . iv

The Science of Projectiles

Chapter 1
What Goes Up: The Laws of Motion

Chapter 2
Projectile Motion: Tracking Trajectories

Chapter 3
Slingshots, Catapults and Canons: Mechanical Energy

Chapter 4
Curveballs and Spirals: Air Resistance

Chapter 5
When What Goes Up Doesn’t Come Down: Rockets

Metric Conversions Resources
Essential Questions