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Springs

In this worksheet, students will answer questions about the pushes and pulls we feel when stretching and 'squashing' springs.

'Springs' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:   Forces and Magnets

Curriculum subtopic:   Forces: Contact and Magnetic

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Springs are stretchy. We can pull them to make them longer and push them to make them shorter.

Springs

When we push or pull a spring, we can feel the FORCE of the spring resisting the push or pull.

Wonder whether the questions in this worksheet will S-T-R-E-T-C-H you?!  Let's find out....

When we PULL on a spring, what force do we feel?

a push

a pull

gravity

Springs

 

What happens to the spring when we use a pulling force?

It gets shorter

It stays the same

It gets longer

We use big arrows to show the big forces and small arrows to show small forces. The arrow shows the direction of the force.

 

A Springs being pulled
B   

 

Which of these identical springs will stretch the most (the arrows represent the direction and strength of your pulling force)?

A

B

Which spring is pulling BACK the most?

 

A Spring
B
A

B

Which of these arrows (in the answer boxes below) shows the forces needed to squash the arrow to make it SHORTER?

Spring

← →

→ →

→ ←

← ←

When we push on the spring, what force do we feel?

a push

a pull

no force

Child showing arm muscles

 

Carl is feeling very strong. He pulls on a large heavy spring, but cannot stretch it!

Which is the best explanation for why he cannot stretch it?

The pull of the spring is the biggest.

Carl's pull is the biggest.

The pulling forces are the same.

Carl finds another spring which he pushes to make it shorter. What happens to the spring when Carl STOPS pushing?

nothing

it gets longer

it gets shorter

Which scientific "forces"-type word is the opposite of STRETCH?  

relax

compass

compress

Carl wants to investigate other objects which PULL BACK when he applies a pulling force to them.

 

Can you help him by predicting which TWO of these objects will pull back?

glass marble

ball of clay

rubber band

cotton wool ball

piece of elastic

  • Question 1

When we PULL on a spring, what force do we feel?

CORRECT ANSWER
a pull
EDDIE SAYS
Whenever you pull something springy, it pulls back against the force we apply to it. The more you stretch it, the greater the pull you feel against you.
  • Question 2

Springs

 

What happens to the spring when we use a pulling force?

CORRECT ANSWER
It gets longer
EDDIE SAYS
As you pull a spring it gets longer because the gap between the coils of the spring increases. Try it with a Slinky (if you've got one) - pull it gently and you can see the gaps growing bigger and bigger (don't pull it too much though!).
  • Question 3

We use big arrows to show the big forces and small arrows to show small forces. The arrow shows the direction of the force.

 

A Springs being pulled
B   

 

Which of these identical springs will stretch the most (the arrows represent the direction and strength of your pulling force)?

CORRECT ANSWER
B
EDDIE SAYS
Spring B has got the bigger black arrows - these show a bigger force than spring A, so that means a bigger stretching force PULLING on the spring will make it longer. Make sense?
  • Question 4

Which spring is pulling BACK the most?

 

A Spring
B
CORRECT ANSWER
B
EDDIE SAYS
Remember that the bigger pulling force was applied to spring B? Well, that means that spring B pulls back the most. That's because the pulling force applied to it is bigger and as that pulling force increases, so does the spring's own force to return to its original shape. If you have something springy near you, try it out yourself!
  • Question 5

Which of these arrows (in the answer boxes below) shows the forces needed to squash the arrow to make it SHORTER?

Spring

CORRECT ANSWER
→ ←
EDDIE SAYS
The pair of arrows pointing in at each other represent two opposing forces moving towards each other (like a couple of footballers running towards each other to reach the football first). In terms of forces, these are two forces acting on each end of a spring, squashing it together, making it smaller.
  • Question 6

When we push on the spring, what force do we feel?

CORRECT ANSWER
a push
EDDIE SAYS
Maybe you could try this on your bed, assuming it has springs in the mattress. If you push down on a spring gently, as it squashes slightly, it pushes back at you gently too. Now if you push harder, the spring pushes back at you harder, the more it is squashed. Any spring pushes back against the force we apply to it. A car's suspension is a good example of this.
  • Question 7

Child showing arm muscles

 

Carl is feeling very strong. He pulls on a large heavy spring, but cannot stretch it!

Which is the best explanation for why he cannot stretch it?

CORRECT ANSWER
The pulling forces are the same.
EDDIE SAYS
To make an object move, we have to apply a force. The spring Carl has found cannot be stretched by him because Carl's pull is equal to the force that the spring is pulling back with. That means he's not strong enough to overcome the force of that big spring. He'll have to build up his muscles!
  • Question 8

Carl finds another spring which he pushes to make it shorter. What happens to the spring when Carl STOPS pushing?

CORRECT ANSWER
it gets longer
EDDIE SAYS
When Carl releases his pushing force, the spring pops back to its original size. When he was squashing it, the spring was pushing back at him. Now that he's let go, that springy force allows it to regain the shape it started with. Why not try that with your pencil eraser (gently now!)?
  • Question 9

Which scientific "forces"-type word is the opposite of STRETCH?  

CORRECT ANSWER
compress
EDDIE SAYS
When we make a spring shorter, we say it is compressed. That means 'squashed', but 'compressed' is a better word to use. Lots of lovely scientific language out there to have fun with!
  • Question 10

Carl wants to investigate other objects which PULL BACK when he applies a pulling force to them.

 

Can you help him by predicting which TWO of these objects will pull back?

CORRECT ANSWER
rubber band
piece of elastic
EDDIE SAYS
Carl can apply a force to all of these objects, but he will feel a pulling force when he stretches the rubber band and the piece of elastic. When he stops applying the force, they will shorten. That's because the elastic and the rubber band are the only truly stretchy (elastic) materials in the list: the clay will just get longer and separate, the cotton wool pretty much the same, while the glass marble won't change shape at all (very un-stretchy!).
---- OR ----

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