Physics is the study of matter — what is it made of? How does it behave? What laws or equations describe it? From subatomic particles, to the Big Bang, modern physicists study matter at a tremendous range of scales. There's a whole lot of interesting physics at the human scale, too.

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Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
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Forces, which we might instinctively describe as pushes and pulls, are acting on us at all times, but we cannot always see them. This hands-on lesson offers a fun opportunity to explore "invisible" forces like gravity and air resistance. Students will build parachutes and investigate how they allow skydivers to safely land. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
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Can your students lift a book off the floor with just one finger? Find out and learn about simple machines in this fun lesson plan about levers. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd
Do your students think making things float in mid-air is a magic trick? Show them how you can do it with science! In this lesson plan they will learn about interactions between magnets and figure out how to make them float. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-3. Ask questions to determine cause and effect relationships of electric or magnetic interactions between two objects not in contact with each other.
Lesson Plan Grade: Kindergarten-5th
Students determine the coefficient of restitution (or the elasticity) for super balls. Working in pairs, they drop balls from a meter height and determine how high… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-PS2-2. Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build a ball-launching machine to knock down a target. Optionally, they can enter their designs in the 2020 Fluor Engineering Challenge for a chance to win a cash prize for your school! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available, as is a Spanish language version of the basic challenge. Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Using common materials (spools, string, soap), students learn how a pulley can be used to easily change the direction of a force, making the moving of large objects… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
  • 3-PS2-1. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence of the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on the motion of an object.
Lesson Plan Grade: 3rd-5th
Teach your students about the engineering design process with this fun lesson plan. They will design and build two "volleyball machines" that launch a ping pong ball back and forth over a net. While the 2019 Fluor Engineering Challenge is over, your students can still try this project and compare their scores to top scores from around the world! Teachers, note that middle school and high school versions of this lesson plan are also available. Looking for this year's challenge? Check out… Read more
NGSS Performance Expectations:
  • 3-5-ETS1-3. Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.
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Free science fair projects.