By Jared Hottenstein

As anyone in the culinary world will tell you, presentation is everything.  World famous restaurants with multiple Michelin stars put as much effort into presentation as they do in preparing the food.

Science teachers could learn something from chefs.  I’m not talking about adding flashy multimedia and explosions.  The goal isn’t to entertain… but to take a few extra steps that will help our students stay involved.  How do we do that?

A great place to start is integration.  Science teachers think about science.  What if we begin to think of ways to bring in social studies, reading, writing, and math to help with the presentation of our science lessons?  What if a meaningful project could allow students to apply their new learning in myriad areas?  Let me give you an example.

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## May the Force Be with You

By Jared Hottenstein

The movie Star Wars relied greatly on a mystical ability called “the Force.”  You can’t see it.  It’s an invisible energy that interacts with everything around it.  A little green guy named Yoda uses this mystical “Force” to move objects around.  Intriguing, sure, but it’s just Hollywood special effects.  However, thanks to science—and Sir Isaac Newton—we know that force is a real thing in our world.  In fact, we use it every day.  (And we don’t even need to summon Yoda!)

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## Forces and Motion Lesson

Through the years, we’ve seen teaching trends come and go… but one thing hasn’t changed: students LOVE anything related to balloons and rockets.  (So do we.)  And when you’re talking about rockets, you’re talking about forces and motion!

Take a look at this free lesson on forces and motion.  We’re using balloons as our rocket “engines” to power these simple cars.  The activity is basic enough to work with younger students, and can easily be augmented for a more advanced group.  This lesson invites all kinds of variations.  You might say the sky’s the limit!

Click on the image below for a full-size, full-color PDF of this easy-to-implement forces and motion lesson.  Enjoy!

## Forces and Motion Discussion Starters

Forces and motion are all around us.  You might even say they make the world go ’round.  In 1687 Isaac Newton attempted to explain the movements of everything in the universe—from a pea rolling on a plate to the position of the planets.  It’s staggering to think about how much of our daily life involves some aspect of Newton’s Laws of Motion.

This is one science topic that can be easily approached by using examples from our collective life experiences.  Starting a discussion about forces and motion with your students is easy.  All you have to do is drop a feather…  nudge a toy car forward… pull open a door.

We’ve put together a collection of interesting topics and interactive games that you can use to get a conversation going with your students.  Let us know what you think in the comments below!

## Forces and Motion TV

No matter what grade you teach, at some point you will surely need to introduce your students to the three Laws of Motion developed by Sir Isaac Newton in 1687.  His Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica took Newton two years to write and was the culmination of more than 20 years of thinking.

That was more than 300 years ago.  Today, we live in the YouTube era.  Videos allow us to quickly summarize important scientific concepts like forces and motion in dramatic ways that your students will understand and remember.  We’ve gathered some excellent examples here.  Enjoy!