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written by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration
This is a lesson plan for teaching Newton's Third Law within the context NASA's Swift satellite. Students warm up with a reading excerpt that explains thrust, the force that moves the rocket through space. Newton's Third Law comes into play as students conduct an experiment to propel a balloon along a fishing line. They must consider what force (or forces) act to counter thrust. Resource includes lesson, detailed lab procedures, Student Handout, data table, pre/post discussion questions, and answer key. Can be viewed in html or downloaded as a printable pdf document.
Editor's Note: The study of rockets is an excellent way for students to study applications of Newton's Third Law of Motion, often the most difficult of the three laws for young learners to comprehend. See Related Materials for a link to a well-written NASA tutorial, "Forces on a Rocket".
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Newton's Third Law
- High School
- Middle School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- New teachers
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Courtesy of:
NASA
Keywords:
action, ball drop, balloon rocket, force, newton's third law, reaction
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created August 17, 2004 by Melanie Carter
Record Updated:
October 13, 2015 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 20, 2010
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AIP Format
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, (2006), WWW Document, (https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html).
AJP/PRST-PER
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion, (2006), <https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html>.
APA Format
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (2010, June 20). Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion. Retrieved October 25, 2020, from https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html
Chicago Format
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion. June 20, 2010. https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html (accessed 25 October 2020).
MLA Format
National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion. 2006. 20 June 2010. 25 Oct. 2020 <https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "National Aeronautics and Space Administration", Title = {Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {25 October 2020}, Month = {June 20, 2010}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%Q National Aeronautics and Space Administration
%T Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion
%D June 20, 2010
%U https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
%D June 20, 2010
%T Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion
%V 2020
%N 25 October 2020
%8 June 20, 2010
%9 text/html
%U https://swift.sonoma.edu/education/newton/newton_3/index.html

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### Goddard Space Flight Center: Newton's Third Law of Motion:

Is Supplemented By NASA: Forces on a Rocket

Background information on the forces at work in rocket propulsion.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Newton's Third Law

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