In this activity, students use rubber bands to demonstrate and measure equal and opposite forces. Extension ideas are provided for digging deeper to help solidify the concept for students. Most students have the sense that only people can exert a force such as a push--and don't realize that walls, tables, the ground, etc can push things too. This surprising fact is fundamental to understanding Newtons 3rd law of motion.
- For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
- The forces are opposite in direction and equal in degree, (the accelerations--change in movements depend on the size of the object being moved).
- Forces always come in pairs.
Materials Needed per setup: per setup: 2 metersticks, assorted rubber bands, string
Prep Needed Gather supplies
Teaching Time 20-30 min
Related Labs Motion and Newton's Laws