Introduction to Force: Push and Pull

By Selma Walsh on Sep 19, 2016

A hands-on science lesson for students who are blind and visually impaired about force, using push and pull to demonstrate.

Materials

Part I:

  • Medium size box filled with something to give it weight (resistance), such as rocks, books, blocks etc.
  • Large spool about 3 ft. round 
  • (Spool available at Home Depot or other home improvement store, these are often used to store cables, chains, rope and they will gladly give them away)
  • 6 to 8 feet of rope (jump rope works well)

Part II: 

  • Wooden spool for each student
  • Masking tape and marker
  • Pencil, clothespin, cloth, string, strips of paper, straw, pipe cleaner, rubberbands
  • Table top or smooth surface

 

Procedure

Part I:

Introduction:

  • Scientists study how things move.   
  • Today we will observe how we can make things move.
  • To make something move, you need to use a “force”.
  • A Force is a push or a pull.
 
  1. Place tape on the floor and mark as “Start”.
  2. Place another strip of tape 6 to 8 feet away from the start position and mark as “Finish”.
  3. Teacher demonstrates how to push a box from start to finish.
  4. Students take turns pushing a box from the start to the finish marks.
  5. The force we used was a push.
  6. Teacher demonstrates how to use a rope to pull the box from start to finish.
  7. Students use a rope to pull the box from the start to the finish mark.
  8. The force we used was a pull.
  9. Discuss the types of forces the students used to move the box (push and pull).  Explain to the students:  “A force is a push or a pull, you used a force to move the box from start to finish.”
  10. Introduce the large spool.
  11. Explain: “Spools are used to hold rope, wire, cable or string.  This spool came from Home Depot and was used to hold wire.”
  12. Demonstrate the following forces:
    • push the spool standing up
    • push the spool on its side
  13. Students take turns pushing the spool standing up and on its side
  14. Ask:  Which was easier to PUSH the spool?  Standing up or On its Side
  15. Demonstrate the following forces:
    • with a rope, pull the spool standing up
    • with a rope, pull the spool on its side
  16. Ask:  Which was easier to PULL the spool?  Standing up or On its Side
*If time allows, push and pull a box with wheels and a handle (a cooler works well)  

Part II:

  1. Place tape on one end of the table and mark as “Start”.
  2. Place tape about 3 feet across from the start line and mark as “Finish”.
  3. Students use one finger, to PUSH the spool across the table.
    • Standing up
    • On its side
  4. Students use tools to push the spool across the table:
    • Tools:  pencil, clothespin, cloth, string, paper, straw, pipe cleaner, rubber band
  5. Discuss:  Which tool worked best to push the spool?
  6. Students use one finger, to PULL the spool across the table.
    • Standing up
    • On its side
  7. Students use tools to pull the spool across the table:
    • Tools:  pencil, clothespin, cloth, string, paper, straw, pipe cleaner, rubber band 
  8. Discuss:  Which tool worked best to pull the spool?
  9. Students explore and experiment with combining materials to push and pull the spool.
  10. Set up objects, such as blocks and ramps, for students to move the spool up, down and around.
  11. Explain:  You used forces to move the spool.  The forces you used were a push and a pull.
  12. Return materials and clean up.
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