Rutgers Force & Dynamics materials:
  • Rutgers has Evaluation Skill w.s. on Forces and other mechanics topics. Review the presented situation, and determine alternate solutions, the possibility of the presented solutions bein correct / in-correct.
  • ppt slides of multiple representations of force problems. students analyze a graph to produce #'s, analyze #'s to produce an equation, analyze an equation to produce a graph... Good stuff. They have these materials in multiple topic areas.
  • Traditional labs & Design labsin forces and other areas.
  • Surprising Data. The Rutgers folks provide a situation, ask for a prediction, then let you view the experiement. Student then resolve the issue (if the results conflict with obserations).

ASU's Modeling materials in Mechanics are available for free to anyone interested. Their materials below are for:

Hookes Law Lab by Greg Jacobs posted on College Board's website:

Hooke's Law Lab for series and parallel springs (jennifer groppe)

Web Resources in Forces, equilibrium and more (by the College Board).

Tensile Strength Lab:
1- Author, Paul Lulai
2- Lab Type: Structured, Engineering
3- Students use a force sensor and motion detector. The measure force of tension on a material (for me, printer ribbon or very lightweight fishing line) and the elongation of the material. A graph of the materials properties is produced. It plots Stress (force / area of material) vs Strain (elongation / original length). A materials Young's Modulus and maximum tensile strength can be measured. My students then use this data to determine how many loops of the material they need to hold up a lab-mate.
Force Investigation:
1. Author: Brittany Reed
2. Lab type: Inquiry/investigation
3. I use this lab on one of the first days that I begin talking about forces and different types of forces. Students investigate how Normal, Friction, and tension forces change in different situations.

Flying Pig Centripetal Force
  1. Author: Paul Lulai
  2. Lab Type: Inquiry/Problem Solving
  3. Students determine the minimum tensile strength required for a leash to be used on flying pigs. Students also find net radial F (aka centripetal), net radial acceleration, tangential velocity, angular speed and so on.

Flying Pig Force Vectors
  1. Author: Paul Robinson (posted by Chris Becke)
  2. Lab Type: Guided problem solving
  3. Students are led through splitting the tension into x- and y-components and compare a theoretical velocity to a measured velocity. Honors level or AP B level.

Flying Pig Canonical Pendulum
  1. Author: Bill Taylor,
  2. A toy flying pig is a canonical pendulum. By measuring the mass of the pig and the radius of the pendulum, one can determine the (theoretical) equilibrium speed of the pig. This can be compared to the actual speed. I use this Lab in AP-C, but it could also be used in an Honors course.

Notes From Wayne Mullins:

Physics B Notes and PowerPoints from Peggy Bertrand:
Newton's Laws Notes and corresponding PowerPoint
Applications of Newton's Laws Notes and corresponding PowerPoint

Physics C PowerPoint from Peggy Bertrand (Notes available soon)
Newton's Laws PowerPoint.ppt

First Law Day -- activities to illustrate the First Law. Teacher Guide: Questions to ask the kids:
Written by Dan Burns; Posted by Bill Taylor

Rotational Inertia Lab from Brendan Crowley
This is a pretty straight-forward lab that uses the rotational apparatus from Pasco, but could be easily modified, and the goal is to determine the rotational inertia for a variety of objects.

Equilibrium & Torques If you are a risk taker, give the following web site with no instructions other than to turn in a drawing or printout of the end. Tell them they will know when the end happens. I've done this two years in a row. /levers.html
Suggested by dcarr; posted by Bill Taylor

Equilibrium & Torques I give my students a meter stick, a loop of light string with which to suspend it from a pole stand, a standard mass (200 grams works well) and another loop of string to use in suspending that from the meter stick. The task: determine the mass of the meter stick. I let the kids check their result with a balance scale after they have finished their calculations. Usually, they find the task hard and do much more complicated calculations than are needed!
Suggested by Helen Young; Posted by Bill Taylor

The Force Diagram - Instructions to students on how to do Force Diagrams and begin force / motion problems . Posted by Bill Taylor

Newton's 2nd with the Pasco 750 (submitted by Yvonne Eibeck)

Atwood's Machine Lab - Set up an Atwood's machine and mass a penny. No long Lab report. Created by John McGehee and modified by Bill Taylor

Accelerated Motion Lab - Four different lab stations that investigate accelerated motion in an elevator, atwood's machine, and inclined plane. This lab may take more than one day, depending on the length of the class period. This is an open-ended lab, with no specific procedure listed.
-Brittany Reed

West Point Bridge Builder: submitted by plulai
The West Point site has a bunch of nice activities
  1. Make Manilla Folder Bridges:
  2. Use West Point software to make a virtual bridge & test it. The goal is to make the cheapest bridge that holds the load.

Coefficient of Friction : Lab in which students calculate the coefficient of friction (static and kinetic) for the rubber stoppers on the TI calculators (incomplete, needs finishing). Modified from unknown source.

Static vs. Kinetic Friction Simulation lab: Lab in which students use a java simulation to investigate the difference between static and kinetic friction and to calculate frictional coefficients between objects. Submitted by Brittany Reed,

Friction using Phet Force and Motion: V. Risk
Students work with friction calculations and concepts before doing the hands-on friction lab.

Another Coefficient of Friction Lab: . Here's a recently created coefficient of friction lab. I've never tried it but it principle I think it will work. We'll see shortly. Submitted by: Mark W. Hossler,

And yet another Friction Lab, based on Conceptula Physics Lab 33, Slip Stick Students drag blocks with force sensor, measure max static friction force and kinetic, graph Vs normal force and get mu, predict angle block will slide at. - Dan Burns

Ideas on Teaching Weight.doc Digest of ideas on teaching the concept of weight & weightlessness from AP Listserv, June '08. Complied by Mitchell Johnson, posted by Bill Taylor.

Newton's Third Law Pairs/Pears description/handout - Joe Morin

Newton's Third Law Pears Dan Burns for Clarence Bakken

Newton's Third Law Powerpoint with Interactive Engagement Questions and movies Dan Burns

APC 1983 M3 (David Derbes) At what angle will a block slide off a frictionless, immobilized sphere? Solution

Yo-Yo Lab and Teacher Information (Dan Burns) Student Lab sheet, handout on yo-yo physics, Teacher Guide, and other assorted items for you yo-yos out there.

Picture of Rolling Hollow Cylinder with LED Strobe on inside Edge Taken with a iNova Micro Light LED in dim mode. - Dan BurnsWheelRoll2.JPG

Elevator Lab: Data collected from a force probe with a 0.5 kg mass hanging from it. The elevator went up and down and up and down. Students determine what floors I stopped at in the 15 story building. Data file compatible with PASCO Data Studio - Dan Burns

Elevator PowerPoint Slides - I use this presentation to prep for the elevator la mentioned above. - Dan Burns

Slo-Mo 300 fps of Egg and Broom trick Dan Burns

Rocket Lab by Dan Burns:

Drag Force Lab Using Coffee Filters, Motion Detector and PASCO 750 Interface
for AP Physics C students
This is based on Brendan Crowley's Coffee Filter

For notes on the theory of drag forces, see: Drag forces with Calculus for Physics C (and beyond)

Buoyant Forces:
There must be lots that can be done with this video. A truck drives onto two small boats. The boats are pushed acro

ss the river. Bridges? We don't need no stinking bridges
How much water is displaced? What does the truck weigh? Fun to watch..boat bridge for truck.wmv

Rotating Beam and Center of Mass Powerpoint Slides I used these to create screencasts that I post on Youtube for my students. They are meant for students that miss class or want to see additional examples. Some are follow-up examples to labs and demos done in class. You could use them to show in class or to create your own screencasts with your own voice for your students to hear. Feel free to modify them as you wish. Attribution to me is not necessary but please send me any errors you notice or other comments that might improve them. Dan Burns (

AP Physics 1 Dynamics Problem Set - Problem set built by Bob Enck, Dan Fullerton and Paul Sedita in an effort to start an AP-1 style problem bank. Feel free to print/use in your classrooms. Please don't re-post the files themselves, but rather only the links to the files, to allow us to quickly and easy update and continue to build upon these problems. Thank you! -- Dan Fullerton ( PS - anyone interested in adding on to these problems, we'd love the help!

LAB - Determining the Coefficient of Friction between two materials using video analysis:

Static Beam Lab: Students predict the tension for a horizontal beam supporting a weight and then for when the beam is at an angle to the horizontal. A force sensor allows them to test their prediction. Below is a picture of the beams in both configurations. - Dan Burns

PhET Masses and Springs Hooke's Law Activity
Students use F=kx to find spring constant without knowing actual x, find length of spring, find unknown mass, then g on Planet X. Good practice for Hooke's Law. - Dan Burns