GGNZ Motion, Force, Friction

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Activities to support Creative Science Unit Badge activities on energy and friction. Added by GGNZ Programme Team


Tennis ball
Volley ball/Basket Ball
Any other balls of varying types and sizes
1m ruler/measuring tape

Toy cars
Different surfaces to race toy cars
Any other resources for an activity chosen


Creative Science Activity 3 - Learn about energy using a tennis ball and volleyball: See attachment 'Bouncing Balls - Energy' for full details and explanation.
A simple and fun experience to explore transfer of energy, repeat the experience with different types and sizes of balls. This activity illustrates how potential energy converts to kinetic energy.
- Drop tennis ball to the floor from a height ie. shoulder height
- Repeat with the volleyball - which one bounced higher? How high did it bounce?
- Next place the tennis ball on top of the volley ball and drop together - what happens to the tennis ball?
(This is an example of Newton's Second Law that states that if force acts on a body, the body will produce a change of motion proportionate to the force, and in the same direction)

Creative Science Activity 4 - Learn about friction, by having a toy car race
- Have races with toy cars on different surfaces - wooden floor, carpet/mat, blanket, sleeping mat, sandpaper, metal, rubber, cardboard box, plastic/gladwrap, etc. Take it outside, try concrete, grass
- You could create a slight slope to race toy cars down, placing different surfaces at the bottom of your ramp to test how far your car travels
- Measures/record the distance the car travels from one push - which surface helped the car to go further? Which surface slowed the car down? Why?

This website has further activity ideas to explore friction in a range of ways if you want to explore further - - and nicely states, 'Without getting too technical, friction is simply a force that reduces the motion between objects that are in contact with each other. So friction stops or slows down movement."

Attached are further activities you can choose to do to explore force and motion, each one includes what you will need, instructions and explanation:
- Dueling Balloons
- Action Reaction

Have fun playing with water/air balloons for a game at your unit meeting
Fill a balloon with a small amount of water and tie it.
Push the water balloon inside another balloon and then blow that balloon up and tie it.
Play catch/games with the balloon
Science: It will wobble as it is thrown because the center of gravity moves around as the balloon flys through the air. The balloon's center of gravity is the water-filled balloon.


  • Creative Science
  • Energy

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