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When a force makes something move, it will travel a certain distance in a measurable amount of time. This determines its speed. It will keep moving until it is acted upon by force or friction. Children use a toy truck to demonstrate how different materials (for example cardboard, carpet, sandpaper and wood) can slow it down or completely stop it. They record their findings.
This clip is from:
First broadcast:
15 April 2008

Classroom Ideas

Could be used as an introduction to a topic on forces or as a plenary. A discussion of the pupils' understanding of what the word friction means would be useful at this point. An understanding that speed is the distance over time can be developed in the discussion. The investigation to test friction, as carried out on the clip, could be reproduced with the class in small groups using a different variety of materials. There is also an opportunity to reinforce the principles of fair testing including making predictions, repeating measures and variables. As an extension activity, pupils could devise their own friction investigation and design their own cars to test. Other pupils could video each test and then play it back to evaluate them.

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