Kids, say “Hello” to Sir Newton

Physics… way more fun than chemistry was last year… and I didn’t ever believe that would happen. Ever. Maybe because in high school advanced physics made me cry (a few times.) But thank goodness we are doing elementary school physics, because THIS is fun. (Sorry, Mr. Nicholas, I’m sure you are a wonderful human being, but I just didn’t enjoy the subject matter of your class.

(Thanks for passing me, though.)

The last little while (in my blogging absence) we’ve been covering Sir Isaac Newton and his first two laws of motion. We’ll cover law number 3 next week. And in case your high school physics experience was like mine, here is a quick refresher course.. and a little bit of humor.

Law #1: Q: Why is it so easy to stay up late into the evening, but so hard to get up in the morning? A: Because objects in motion tend to stay in motion and objects at rest tend to stay at rest.  (Knee slapping funny, I know!)

Law #2:  The more mass an object has and the greater the velocity the object has, the greater the momentum it will have. Momentum is described as Force = Mass x Velocity.

We did one “lab” regarding momentum and it was a flop so I’m just going to skip talking about it.


But we did a few “labs” regarding the 1st law of motion and the idea of Inertia. Inertia has been easy for the kids to understand because you can experience it every time you start driving. It’s that pull and push you get when you start up and then stop. (I may have stopped the car a little suddenly on purpose a few times and shouted out something about the genius of Newton a few times these last few weeks. Nerd = Me. I’m not ashamed.)

In one lab we set a Lego man, Aquaman with his trident and everything, on top of a toy truck. When we gave the truck a little push, he fell backwards. When we made him a little seat with a back rest he was able to stay in place. But when the truck came to a sudden stop he flew forward (staying in motion, and all).

So…. we thought up some inertia prevention inventions. Essentially recreating the modern day seat belt. I think the sub-lesson here was to encourage children of the importance actually buckling up.

Also, here is our official physics poster. The book I am using has nice little definition, biography, and equation pages for the kids to fill out, but I thought just collecting all that information on one big poster that we make together would be more fun.

And it is.


Because physics is fun!