Student Maker Project: Newton’s Laws in Real Life

In this project, sophomore pre-service science teachers design a learning experience for physics students involving 3D printed car bumpers and an app they designed.

Target Users:

  • Students: 7-12 science students learning Newton’s three laws.

Lesson Goals:

  • To familiarize students with Newton’s three laws and how they apply to real life situations.
  • To facilitate student creativity as they try out new ideas for bumpers and parts on their own cars
  • Give students the opportunity to work in groups to investigate and solve problems

Technology Use: Phone app to record and post/tweet data, camera mounted to crash vehicle to record video, accelerometer connected to phone app to record and process data, 3d printer to print various shape and material bumpers, Command strips to attach/detach bumpers


  • Students can capture and interpret data in real time on their personal devices.
  • Ability to tweet, youtube results and videos
  • Allows students to tap their creative powers to design , prototype, and test their bumper designs


Teaching standards addressed:

2.2. Force and Motion
12.2.2 Students will investigate and describe the nature of field forces and their interactions with matter.
12.2.2.a Describe motion with respect to displacement and acceleration
Inertia/Newton’s 1st law
12.2.2.b Describe how the law of inertia (Newton’s 1st law) is evident in a real-world event
Forces/Newton’s 2nd law
12.2.2.c Make predictions based on relationships among net force, mass, and acceleration (Newton’s 2nd
Newton’s 3rd law
12.2.2.d Recognize that all forces occur in equal and opposite pairs (Newton’s 3rd law)
12.2.2.e Describe how Newton’s 3rd law of motion is evident in a real-world event


Possible Future Plan:

Cooperate with an Industrial Technology (Shop) class to allow students the opportunity to create the box cars themselves. It would make the learning process even more memorable for them.

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