Physics in Primary Schools: Forces and springs 
Physics in Primary Schools: Forces and springs
by University of Sheffield / Gillian Gehring
Video Lecture 9 of 10
2 ratings
Views: 3,450
Date Added: December 17, 2009

Lecture Description

Forces and Springs

Supports National Curriculum, Key Stages 1 and 2 Unit 3E Suitable for years 3, 4,5 and 6

The time for whole session is about 45 minutes depending on the length of time spent on examples.

Outline of content

Aims to:

* establish what the children know through a fun demonstration

* explore elastic and inelastic properties of materials

* through class activities show that for elastic materials, the greater the force applied the greater the extension

* also show: the thinner the elastic, the greater the stretch

* provide examples that will help to estimate the size of forces

* introduce springs and show they have elastic properties

* through examples show springs acting in compression as well as extension

* bring out that springs are useful- in particular they can save lives

Points to note:

Please read the notes about safety and agree the assessment with the teacher before the session! Particular care should to be taken when using springs and stretching elastic objects. If stretched carelessly, elastic may break and flick back very painfully, but only the eyes are at serious risk.

Cross References

* The slides in the PowerPoint presentation are referenced in the table.

* As the presentation may be running throughout the session some simple slides provide a suitable background, alternatively switch to a black screen.

* Apparatus details are below the table and are linked to the relevant sections.

* Hints about risks are below the table (link here to list of hints)

* Vocabulary: The presentation uses expressions included in the KS1 and 2 strategies.

Misconceptions to be corrected:

* Only ‘elastic’ is elastic.

* Plastic is a material rather than a property.

* Springs only work when stretched i.e. compression not understood.

Link to:

* Activities

* Apparatus List

* Safety Notes

* Forces and Springs PowerPoint Presentation

* Download Overview, Activities, Apparatus List and Safety Notes as a combined Word document for ease of printing


Course Index

Course Description

This site is for physicists - to interest children in physics. The material covers topics suitable for use when visiting primary schools. A joint venture triggered by the Institute of Physics Women in Physics Group. Material is provided by a team from the University of Sheffield with EPSRC funding.


* to enthuse young children with the enjoyment and excitement of physics.

* to support the primary school teachers with the extensive Key Stage 1 and 2 science curricula involving numerous abstract concepts.


* Electricity

* Forces and Gravity

* Forces and Magnets

* Sound

* Solids

* Light

* Solids, Liquids and Gases

* Sunlight and Space Travel

* Forces and Springs

* Earth and Solar System

* Electricity Generation Part 1

* Electricity Generation Part 2

Young children love science and enjoy doing practical work, your scientific expertise will be greatly appreciated and the children will have lots of questions for you to answer. You may be surprised to find how much you enjoy it.

The Sheffield team: Professor Gillian Gehring, Professor David Mowbray, Dr Susan Cartwright, Dr Richard de Grijs, Dr David Lidzey, Ann Marks.


There are no comments. Be the first to post one.
  Post comment as a guest user.
Click to login or register:
Your name:
Your email:
(will not appear)
Your comment:
(max. 1000 characters)
Are you human? (Sorry)