Physical Science in Motion: Classroom Applications

Target Grade(s): 7-High School


Participants learn to solve problems relating to one-dimensional motion; become acquainted with and apply Newton's Laws of Motion and equilibrium of forces; learn about constant acceleration and gravitational acceleration; investigate concepts in aerodynamics; and learn about two-dimensional motion. Participants will use free, simple-to-use, software simulations from NASA Glenn Research Center, which help to present these concepts for you, and, then, your students, in the context of aeronautics, including airplane design, rocketry, sports, and more. A carefully developed resource page provides access to excellent resources and engaging activities for implementing course content in your classroom with important connections to Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core mathematics.

Physical science, when applied, makes tough-to-understand concepts easy and fun.

What can I expect from this course?

Participants attend 5 LIVE online sessions that include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Session 1: Get Going! One-dimensional motion and introduction to forces
Session 2: Kites and Rockets--Introduction to aerodynamics, continuation of forces and acceleration
Session 3: Flying High--Lift and the effects of the atmosphere on flight
Session 4: Integrating Topics--Baseball and aerodynamics

The course includes 5 LIVE and other asynchronous components. Select from a series of assignments designed to meet your classroom goals implementing physical science content in engaging and meaningful ways. You may work with course instructors to tailor course assignments to your specific needs.

NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas:

Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Earth's Place in the Universe
Matter and Its Interactions
Earth's Systems


Aerodynamics, force, acceleration, lift, flight, one-dimensional motion, atmosphere, drag, Newton's laws

NGSS Scientific Practices (8 of 8 addressed):

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

What other opportunities may I pursue?

Participants may implement course content and develop a portfolio following the guidelines of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, with the goal of submitting work for National Board Certification.

Educators may seek opportunities to present at conferences, or among colleagues and education community stakeholders. Course instructors and mentors will support your individual goals to become leaders in integrated STEM education.