This curriculum references lessons found in the STC Motion & Design kit. This guide reframes this physics kit around an event of a skateboarder who experiences a “successful” jump and an “epic fail” jump. To explain this phenomenon, students gather evidence about force, motion, speed, balanced/unbalanced forces, and transfer of energy to develop an explanation around how and why this phenomenon occurs.
Lessons from this kit focus on using a cart and weights. These explorations can help students connect to the skateboarder phenomenon around issues of speed, stopping forces, starting forces, weight, gravity, friction, etc. There are many experiences students bring up during this unit which are rich for productive conversations. For example, riding bicycles, skating, being on a school bus, being in a loaded down car vs empty car, etc. and many other references they share from things they’ve seen, read about, or experienced. Feel free to adjust or add in additional lessons based in students’ experiences. The science ideas captured in this unit can be explored through many different contexts.
This draft is a starting place. Please feel free to make changes to the student tools within this file and to add or change activities based on the ideas your students bring up in class.