NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Educational Pathway
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Introduction
 Short Description:
 Students will find out about newton’s third law and the principle
of action and reaction.
 A hand on experience with easy set up experiments will help
understand the principle
 Students will have the chance to explore newton’s third law by
setting up an experiment by themselves in a science center
(museum)
 Students study mechanics by observing simulations and videos
 Age range: 12-13 years old

Context: School, museum
 Time required: approx. 3-5 lessons
 Connection with the curriculum: mechanics, movement, forces
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Educational Pathway
Eliciting Curiosity – pre visit phase 1
 Set up a stimulating experiment:
 A student on a skateboard will be asked to
move a desk
 Students find out neither it will be impossible
to move the desk nor not to move themselves.
 Discuss why does this happen?
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Questions Eliciting Activities – pre visit phase 1
Define questions from current knowledge
 Because of the obvious movement of the student it
turns out there MUST BE a force on the student.
 This force is of equal magnitude and opposite
direction
 This can be shown by using 2 skateboards and 2
(same mass) students.
Material
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Questions Eliciting Activities – pre visit phase 1
Define questions from current knowledge
 What examples for newton’s third law occure in
everyday life?
 How do students intuitionally experience
mechanics (e.g. walking, jumping, …)
Material
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Pre Visit –Phase 2: Active Investigation –
PROPOSE PRELIMINARY EXPLANATION OR HYPOTHESES
 How can we set up an easy experiment to prove
newton’s third law?
 Students should get some input and ideas by making
research for experiments on the web or realize their own
ideas.
 Students will be guided to develop an experiment that
causes action which will provoke reaction
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Pre Visit –Phase 2: Active Investigation –
the rocket – balloon - race
 a possible setup could be: “the balloon-race”
Material
Source:
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/Rocket_Races.html
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Pre Visit –Phase 2: misconceptions
 Identification of possible misconceptions associated
to forces. Some could be:
 A common misconception is that the forward movement is
due to the air inside the balloon is pushing on the outside air.
However, this experiment would work even in the vacuum of
space! This is why rockets work even outside the Earth’s
atmosphere.
 Another misconception is the idea that force and
counteracting force will sum up to zero. This is explained in
the material to general information on newton’s third law.
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Pre Visit –Phase 2: Observation:
Simulation of force and counterforce: “the lunar lander”
• Try to place the lander
on the surface
• analyze influence of force
on movement and
acceleration
• measure forces and
strength
Animation
directions
Source:
http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/lunar-lander
activity
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Pre Visit –Phase 2: simulation “forces”
• Explore force and
counterforce on the
example of aplied force
and friction force
• Learn about vector
analysis
• Understand relation
between movement
and friction force
Animation
Source:
http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/forces-1d
activity
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Visit - Phase 3
Creation – GATHER EVIDENCE FROM OBSERVATION
 Visit a science center: "Haus der Natur"
Observe experiments showing Newton's third law
 Observe the bottle rocket rushing through the tube
 Discuss Newton's laws and the experimental design with people from
the science center
movie
http://vimeo.com/12168168
http://www.hausdernatur.at/
aktuelles.html
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Visit - Teaching Phase 4
Discussion – consider and observe explanations
 Build your own "water rocket"
(assembly set)
 Class-project: Building up a water rocket
 Observe the bottle rocket taking off
 Discuss Newton's third law and the
experimental design
E.g.:
http://www.lenkdrachen.com/wasserrakete.de/bottle-rocket/html_seiten/frameseite.htm
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Educational Pathway
Visit - Teaching Phase 4
Discussion – Explanation based on evidence
 Generalize the principle of rocket movement
from a water rocket to a space rocket:
 Class-project: Get information about rockets through
web research
 Explain and discuss the principle of thrust and propellant
to be used in rockets
 Discuss how controlling during flight works
Source:
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listb
ytype/Applying_Newtons_Laws.html
material
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
Educational Pathway
Analyzing – post visit Teaching phase 5:
communicate observations and explanations
 Get more information about rockets
 Research for rocket videos on the web
 observe lift off in real time
 Get an idea of the energy consumption of a launching rocket
movie
 How does Newton's Third Law affect everyday life?
 working out examples for action and reaction principle
 walking, jumping from a base, …
 Collect ideas and in group work and work out
presentations of findings
Markus Artner
BG Neunkirchen
NEWTON'S THIRD LAW
Educational Pathway
Analyzing – post visit Teaching phase 5:
communicate observations and explanations
Collect ideas and in group work and work out
presentations of findings
Wings of an
aircraft
Two
rollerskaters
draging to
each other
He-core and
mother core
weapons
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newton`s third law