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Springs and Stretching

In this worksheet students have a chance to explore the world of springs, how they stretch and the forces involved.

'Springs and Stretching' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 1

Curriculum topic:  Uses of Everyday Materials

Curriculum subtopic:  Altering Shapes of Some Solid Objects

Difficulty level:  

down

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

 

 

Springs are found in loads and loads of things around you (as you'll find out if you don't already know!) and work by stretching and shrinking, pulling things as they do.

In this worksheet you'll find out what sort of things contain springs, how they work and what happens when they stretch and shrink. Springs are all about forces: you need to use force to make them stretch and as they do so a force builds up within the spring.

 

Let's find out more!

Which of these objects contain a spring?

Tick all the ones you agree with.

 

           
Scissors Hammer Mattress Ball Stapler Car
           
Retractable Pen Pogo Stick Pencil Elastic Band Jack-in-the-Box  

 

scissors

hammer

mattress

ball

stapler

car

retractable pen

pogo stick

pencil

elastic band

jack-in-the-box

 

Why does a trampoline need springs around the edge?

to protect you from falling off

to make it bouncy and springy

to make it comfortable

 

What happens to the spring in a jack-in-the-box when the lid is closed?

it is squashed

it is stretched

it folds up

 

When you squash a spring down, what do you feel?

a downward pull on your hand

an upward push on your hand

no push or pull on your hand

Here is a picture of a chest expander:

 

It is used by some people who want to build up their muscles. How do you think that pulling on the chest expander helps to exercise the muscles?

the chest expander is very heavy

the springs need a lot of force to stretch them

the springs are very stretchy

This is a toy called a Slinky:

 

It is like a loosely coiled-up spring. What do you think will happen to it if you stretch it very hard?

it will stretch until it snaps

it will stretch a long way and not return to its original shape

it will stretch and then pop back to its normal shape

Harriet has a catapult which she's going to use to flick a ball of paper across the room:

 

 

Harriet tries fitting different elastic bands into her catapult to see if it makes any difference to how far she can flick the paper ball. Which one do you think will need the most force to stretch it?

a long, thin elastic band

a short, thin elastic band

a short, fat elastic band

When Harriet played with her catapult she found that, by changing how much she stretched the elastic, she could make the paper ball go further.

Which of these is the correct explanation of what she found?

the more she stretched the elastic the further the ball went

the more she stretched the elastic the less far the ball went

the less she stretched the elastic the further the ball went

  • Question 1

Which of these objects contain a spring?

Tick all the ones you agree with.

 

           
Scissors Hammer Mattress Ball Stapler Car
           
Retractable Pen Pogo Stick Pencil Elastic Band Jack-in-the-Box  

 

CORRECT ANSWER
mattress
stapler
car
retractable pen
pogo stick
jack-in-the-box
EDDIE SAYS
Some of those might be a surprise! Yes, balls, elastic bands and so on are stretchy but don't contain a spring. The mattress contains lots of springs to be comfy, car's suspension is vital, and retractable pens pop in and out because of their spring.
  • Question 2

 

Why does a trampoline need springs around the edge?

CORRECT ANSWER
to make it bouncy and springy
EDDIE SAYS
When you bounce on a trampoline you're using the springs to give you a good time! As you bounce they stretch and store energy in them which is used to make you go high in the air as the springs contract (get smaller) and force you upwards.
  • Question 3

 

What happens to the spring in a jack-in-the-box when the lid is closed?

CORRECT ANSWER
it is squashed
EDDIE SAYS
When you close the lid, the spring under the puppet is forced down and so is squashed. That means that there is energy stored in it which is released when you undo the lid and the spring pops up and makes you jump!
  • Question 4

 

When you squash a spring down, what do you feel?

CORRECT ANSWER
an upward push on your hand
EDDIE SAYS
You use your force (strength) to squash the spring. As you push it down, an opposite force builds up inside the spring, pushing up against your hand. The harder you push, the greater the opposing force pushing back at you.
  • Question 5

Here is a picture of a chest expander:

 

It is used by some people who want to build up their muscles. How do you think that pulling on the chest expander helps to exercise the muscles?

CORRECT ANSWER
the springs need a lot of force to stretch them
EDDIE SAYS
In fact you hold the chest expander across your chest and try to pull the springs apart, stretching them. The harder you pull, the greater the opposing force from the springs, pulling back against you. That's why it's so hard to use and is popular in working on those muscles.
  • Question 6

This is a toy called a Slinky:

 

It is like a loosely coiled-up spring. What do you think will happen to it if you stretch it very hard?

CORRECT ANSWER
it will stretch a long way and not return to its original shape
EDDIE SAYS
A Slinky is great for playing with on the stairs, or from a high place to a lower place. If you pull hard on it, the coils will open and it is easy to bend the metal/plastic so that when you let go it won't go back to its original shape as the material it is made from has been damaged. That's because you used too much force.
  • Question 7

Harriet has a catapult which she's going to use to flick a ball of paper across the room:

 

 

Harriet tries fitting different elastic bands into her catapult to see if it makes any difference to how far she can flick the paper ball. Which one do you think will need the most force to stretch it?

CORRECT ANSWER
a short, fat elastic band
EDDIE SAYS
Thin elastic bands contain a smaller amount of stretchy material, making them easier to stretch. Fat elastic bands have a greater amount of stretchy material, so as you stretch them, the force building up inside them pulling against you is greater. So Harriet will find that she can get much greater distance on her paper ball with her short, fat elastic band but she's going to have to pull a lot harder to do it than she would with a thin band.
  • Question 8

When Harriet played with her catapult she found that, by changing how much she stretched the elastic, she could make the paper ball go further.

Which of these is the correct explanation of what she found?

CORRECT ANSWER
the more she stretched the elastic the further the ball went
EDDIE SAYS
As Harriet stretched the elastic she built up more force in it, so more stretch = more force. That means there's more force to fling the paper ball a long way!
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