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Force and Motion: Inertia and Why We Use Seatbelts

Why do we need seatbelts? Most of us don't question this. This activity visually demonstrates inertia--how your body keeps going after the car has been stopped by a collision. This activity is set up like a lab, but would work just as well as a station. The directions are written directly to the students so you don't have to introduce them. This is a great addition to a study of Newton's laws of motion.


Concepts Addressed

  • Objects in motion tend to remain in motion. 
  • Objects at rest tend to remain at rest. 
  • Unbalanced or outside forces produce acceleration (a change in motion).

Materials Needed per setup: 1 Pull-back car, putty, 2 pennies or coins


Prep Needed  Gather supplies

Teaching Time   20-30 min

Related Labs Motion and Newton's Laws

Force and Motion: Inertia and Why We Use Seatbelts


    Answer Keys and Teacher Notes address most questions and issues that might arise in this study—you shouldn’t have to do any outside research unless you want to.

    Connect with me: If you have questions or problems, please let me know and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.


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