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  • Middle School

    Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions

Students who demonstrate understanding can:

Performance Expectations

  1. Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects. MS-PS2-1

    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.

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.6-8.1 - Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-PS2-1)
  • RST.6-8.3 - Follow precisely a multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks. (MS-PS2-1)
  • WHST.6-8.7 - Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-PS2-1)


  • 6.EE.A.2 - Write, read, and evaluate expressions in which letters stand for numbers. (MS-PS2-1)
  • 6.NS.C.5 - Understand that positive and negative numbers are used together to describe quantities having opposite directions or values (e.g., temperature above/below zero, elevation above/below sea level, credits/debits, positive/negative electric charge); use positive and negative numbers to represent quantities in real-world contexts, explaining the meaning of 0 in each situation. (MS-PS2-1)
  • 7.EE.B.3 - Solve multi-step real-life and mathematical problems posed with positive and negative rational numbers in any form (whole numbers, fractions, and decimals), using tools strategically. Apply properties of operations to calculate with numbers in any form; convert between forms as appropriate; and assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies. (MS-PS2-1)
  • 7.EE.B.4 - Use variables to represent quantities in a real-world or mathematical problem, and construct simple equations and inequalities to solve problems by reasoning about the quantities. (MS-PS2-1)
  • MP.2 - Reason abstractly and quantitatively. (MS-PS2-1)

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.
  •   In this activity, students use scientific experimentation and elements of the engineering design process to determine a solution to the problem of safely demolishing a football stadium.  Students collect and analyze data as they explor ...

  • Students explore the motion of objects after collisions. The objects have a range of masses and shapes.  The concept of conservation of momentum is explored.  Students extend the learning with an online simulation of collisions.  Empha ...

  • This two-minute video shows the phenomenon of a cannonball being fired from a cannon and the cannon rolling backwards as it is fired.  This phenomenon could stimulate the following driving questions: Why does the cannon move backwards w ...

  • In this game, students use their understanding of momentum, Newton’s 2nd and 3rd Law, and forces, to send rubber ducks through obstacles to a food source.  BumperDucks is an educational physical science game that will help teach players ab ...

  • This is a collection of activities and links on the Physics Classroom website, about Newton’s Third Law of Motion. Many of these directly reference objects' behavior during collisions. Some of the materials are created by the Physics Classroom them ...

  • This interactive from PBS ZOOM Games has students play alone or head-to-head to move a “goal puck” onto a target by colliding into it with “game pucks”. Variables include the masses of the pucks and the amount of friction from various surfaces. Stu ...

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  • In this series of games, your students will learn about equal and opposite forces. The Equal and Opposite Reactions: Newton’s Third Law learning objective — based on NGSS and state standards — delivers improved student engagement and academic perform...

  • From TeachEngineering - Working as if they were engineers, students design and construct model solar sails made of aluminum foil to move cardboard tube satellites through “space” on a string. Working in teams, they follow the engineering design think...

  • From TeachEngineering - One exciting challenge for engineers is the idea of exploration. Through the continuing storyline of the Rockets unit, this lesson looks more closely at Spaceman Rohan, Spacewoman Tess, their daughter Maya, and their challenge...

  • From TeachEngineering - Students examine how different balls react when colliding with different surfaces, giving plenty of opportunity for them to see the difference between elastic and inelastic collisions, learn how to calculate momentum, and unde...

  • Newton's Third Law Paper Trampoline

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