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ZingPath: Friction

Effects of Different Surfaces on Motion

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Lesson Focus

Effects of Different Surfaces on Motion

Physical Science

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Using a sled race, students test how different surfaces affect the sliding motion of an object.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • After completing this Activity Object, students will be able to:
  • Explain that the type of surface can affect the sliding motion of an object.
  • Describe friction as a force that opposes motion.
  • Explain that rough surfaces produce more friction than slippery surfaces.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Friction is the force that opposes motion. This occurs when one surface comes into contact with another surface. Friction occurs with any moving object; there are no frictionless environments. Even when something appears smooth, such as glass or ice, on the microscopic level, it is still rough enough to impede motion. For example, if you roll a ball across a frozen lake, friction will eventually slow the ball until it stops. Without friction, it would roll indefinitely. Surfaces that are rougher, such as sandpaper, slow down objects even more rapidly. The rougher a surface, the more friction will occur.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 25 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with these concepts: effects of force on motion, identification of different surface types, and motion.
Course Physical Science
Type of Tutorial Concept Development
Key Vocabulary distance, effects of force, effects of friction