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  • High School

    Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Analyze data to support the claim that Newton’s second law of motion describes the mathematical relationship among the net force on a macroscopic object, its mass, and its acceleration. HS-PS2-1

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  2. Use mathematical representations to support the claim that the total momentum of a system of objects is conserved when there is no net force on the system. HS-PS2-2

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  3. Apply scientific and engineering ideas to design, evaluate, and refine a device that minimizes the force on a macroscopic object during a collision. HS-PS2-3

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  4. Use mathematical representations of Newton’s Law of Gravitation and Coulomb’s Law to describe and predict the gravitational and electrostatic forces between objects. HS-PS2-4

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  5. Plan and conduct an investigation to provide evidence that an electric current can produce a magnetic field and that a changing magnetic field can produce an electric current. HS-PS2-5

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary
  6. Communicate scientific and technical information about why the molecular-level structure is important in the functioning of designed materials. HS-PS2-6

    Clarification Statement and Assessment Boundary

A Peformance Expectation (PE) is what a student should be able to do to show mastery of a concept. Some PEs include a Clarification Statement and/or an Assessment Boundary. These can be found by clicking the PE for "More Info." By hovering over a PE, its corresponding pieces from the Science and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts will be highlighted.

Science and Engineering Practices

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Analyzing data in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to introducing more detailed statistical analysis, the comparison of data sets for consistency, and the use of models to generate and analyze data.

Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking

Mathematical and computational thinking in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to using algebraic thinking and analysis, a range of linear and nonlinear functions including trigonometric functions, exponentials and logarithms, and computational tools for statistical analysis to analyze, represent, and model data. Simple computational simulations are created and used based on mathematical models of basic assumptions.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing explanations and designing solutions in 9–12 builds on K–8 experiences and progresses to explanations and designs that are supported by multiple and independent student-generated sources of evidence consistent with scientific ideas, principles, and theories.

Disciplinary Core Ideas

By clicking on a specific Science and Engineering Practice, Disciplinary Core Idea, or Crosscutting Concept, you can find out more information on it. By hovering over one you can find its corresponding elements in the PEs.

Planning Curriculum

Common Core State Standards Connections


  • RST.11-12.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-6)
  • RST.11-12.7 - Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem. (HS-PS2-1)
  • WHST.11-12.7 - Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. (HS-PS2-2), (HS-PS2-5)
  • WHST.11-12.8 - Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the specific task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation. (HS-PS2-5)
  • WHST.11-12.9 - Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-5)
  • WHST.9-12.2 - Write informative/explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. (HS-PS2-6)


  • HSA-CED.A.1 - Create equations and inequalities in one variable and use them to solve problems. Include equations arising from linear and quadratic functions, and simple rational and exponential functions. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2)
  • HSA-CED.A.2 - Create equations in two or more variables to represent relationships between quantities; graph equations on coordinate axes with labels and scales. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2)
  • HSA-CED.A.4 - Rearrange formulas to highlight a quantity of interest, using the same reasoning as in solving equations. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2)
  • HSA-SSE.A.1 - Interpret expressions that represent a quantity in terms of its context. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-4)
  • HSA-SSE.B.3 - Choose and produce an equivalent form of an expression to reveal and explain properties of the quantity represented by the expression.★ (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-4)
  • HSF-IF.C.7 - Graph functions expressed symbolically and show key features of the graph, by hand in simple cases and using technology for more complicated cases. (HS-PS2-1)
  • HSN-Q.A.1 - Use units as a way to understand problems and to guide the solution of multi-step problems; choose and interpret units consistently in formulas; choose and interpret the scale and the origin in graphs and data displays. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2), (HS-PS2-4), (HS-PS2-5), (HS-PS2-6)
  • HSN-Q.A.2 - Define appropriate quantities for the purpose of descriptive modeling. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2), (HS-PS2-4), (HS-PS2-5), (HS-PS2-6)
  • HSN-Q.A.3 - Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2), (HS-PS2-4), (HS-PS2-5), (HS-PS2-6)
  • HSS-ID.A.1 - Represent data with plots on the real number line (dot plots, histograms, and box plots). (HS-PS2-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2), (HS-PS2-4)
  • MP.4 - Model with mathematics. (HS-PS2-1), (HS-PS2-2), (HS-PS2-4)

Model Course Mapping

First Time Visitors

Resources & Lesson Plans

  • More resources added each week!
    A team of teacher curators is working to find, review, and vet online resources that support the standards. Check back often, as NSTA continues to add more targeted resources.
  • This is a youtube video of the highlights of the Red Bull space jump, it is 1:21 minutes long. To initiate driving questions for a unit on forces, students might ask: Why did Felix have to wear a spacesuit for the jump? How long was Felix falling? Wh ...

  • This is a video of the world’s largest vacuum chamber in which a feather and a bowling ball are dropped at the same time to see which one hits the ground first. This phenomena can be used to elicit driving questions for the unit such as: Why do ...

  • This simulation includes a wheeled cart on a horizontal surface that is tied to a mass with a string that passes over a pulley. The mass hangs over the edge of the table, and when the cart is released the mass accelerates down towards the ground. The ...

  • This resource includes an interactive simulation of a person in an elevator and can simulate riding upward or downward two different distances. There is a free body diagram of the person next to the image of the elevator and as the elevator moves the ...

  • This lesson is in the form of a lesson plan with teacher notes and a video that introduces the various parts of the activity including timed breaks for students to complete hands on activity related to the topic. This lesson introduces aerodynamics u ...

  • This review focuses on one of several simulations that may be used to demonstrate the effects of a downward force on a beam made of various materials.  In the Ceramic Forces simulation considered here, the view is of an ionic lattice, representi ...

  • This review is  for a series of lessons that begin with the introduction to the concepts of momentum and impulse, labs investigating the conservation of momentum, and a final project in which an egg vehicle is created to protect the egg from dam ...

  • This review focuses on the lab activity identified in a series of lessons that explore the basic characteristics of polymers through the introduction of two polymer categories: thermoplastics and thermosets. In the lab activity, students act as engin ...

  • This review focuses on the Sugar Fermentation lab resources contributed by MIT (see Vernier Manuals and Lab Extensions section for links to the lab activities and teacher guide at http://goo.gl/q5HkWn). The Sugar Fermentation Lab utilizes gas pressu ...

  • This reference is a series of assessment items that require that the students think through momentum conceptually, analyze graphs related to impulse and momentum, and work through calculations using momentum and impulse. There are energy and momentum ...

  • There are several tutorials on the page for this link. This review is under the subheading "Momentum and Energy." It is a small group tutorial that leads students through the construction of an understanding of the concept of momentum and its conserv ...

  • In this interactive simulation the learner can manipulate the masses, initial velocities, and elasticity of two colliding balls. The model displays several quantities before, during, and after the collision including velocities, momentum, center of m ...

  • The article, from the American Chemical Society’s October 2012 edition of ChemMatters, introduced graphene, an allotrope of carbon. Graphene provides an opportunity for students to examine how the molecular level structure of a material is important ...

  • This is a description of a student experiment that teachers can adapt to allow students to prove that electric current produces a magnetic field. The sample includes a specific example of how to do the experiment which can be adapted to an inquiry in ...

  • An interactive simulation in which students use a model of charged objects to explain how charges interact and construct an understanding of Coulomb's Law. It is concerned with comparing ions and neutral atoms. The model allows the user to investigat ...

  • Students are walked through analyzing data representing  the dropping of a heavy ball and a light ball, making predictions before they see the position vs. time and velocity vs. time graphs for each of these actions. Follow up questions ask abou ...

  • This is a description of an inquiry lab in which students use skate boards, timers, length measuring equipment, and students to investigate the relationship between force and acceleration. In the process of their investigation the students will ident ...

  • This is a lab procedure during which the student investigates the strength of a magnetic field within a coil of wire using a magnetic field probe. Students will investigate how the magnetic field strength depends on the current in the wire as well as ...

  • Using this online interactive simulation, students can visualize the relationship between mass and separation of the objects on the magnitude of the force of gravity between two objects. The lesson guide includes questions that lead the student throu ...

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Planning Curriculum gives connections to other areas of study for easier curriculum creation.