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Below are links to Science Learning Hub resources for primary teachers related to forces in the Physical World strand of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Topic: Flight

Flight explores the physics fundamentals of gravity, lift, drag and thrust –  using birds and planes as the context

Investigating flight – an introductory article with links to media, articles and student activities

How birds fly – Article

Principles of flight – Aritcle

Forces affecting flight – Image

Wing aspect ratio – Article

Wing loading – Article

Wings and lift – Article

Gliders and kites – Article

Aerofoils and paper planes – Activity

Kites – Activity

Making a glider – Activity

Wings for flight – Interactive

Topic: Rockets

Rocket design is all about finding an optimal balance between thrust, mass and aerodynamics.

Unit plan: Rockets teaching sequence

Investigating rockets – an introductory article with links to media, articles and student activities

Lift-off – Article

Rocket aerodynamics – Article

Rockets and mass – Article

Rockets and thrust – Article

Calculating rocket acceleration – Article

Getting rockets into space – Article

Balloon car challenge – Activity

Effervescent canister rockets – Activity

Launch simulator challenge – Activity

Water bottle rockets – Activity

Skateboard forces – Image

Rocket launch simulation – Interactive

Topic: Satellites

The science ideas that allow satellites to remain in orbit are principally ones of gravitational forces and circular motion.

Investigating satellites – an introductory article with links to media, articles and student activities

Gravity and satellite motion – Article

Launching satellites – Article

Alternative conceptions about gravity – Article

I’m looking at how we can reduce pressure drag with different position and using different types of helmets and also reduce the skin friction drag by using different skinsuits.

Lindsay Underwood

Topic: Cycling aerodynamics

Our collection of resources on cycling aerodynamics is a great opportunity to look at forces and speed in relation to cycling and think about how these might be measured and how one affects the other. 

Cycling Aerodynamics – an introductory article with links to media, articles and student activities

Causes of aerodynamic drag – Article

Forces and speed – Article

Faster bikes –  Article

Individual pursuit graphs – Activity

Investigating airflow over shapes – Activity

On your bikes – Activity

An aerodynamic bike – Image

Forces on a tyre – Image

Aerodynamics and drag – Video

Testing aerodynamics of elite cyclists – Video

The wind tunnel – Video

What is rolling resistance? – Video

Sports and physics quiz – Activity

Topic: Sporting edge

Muscles can only contract and then relax – they can never push. So for every body movement there are muscles that contract to make the bones move and others that contract to pull the bones back to their original position.

Measuring the power output of elite athletes – Activity

Sports and physics quiz – Activity

Teacher ideas

In these videos, teacher Sinead Senek explains how her students learned about forces through hands-on experiences and Hub resources.

Learning about rockets  – Video

Thinking and talking like scientists  – Video

    Published 7 July 2015, Updated 12 April 2018 Referencing Hub articles