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Forces and Magnets: Use the Force!

In this worksheet, students will work through a series of questions assessing their knowledge of contact and non-contact forces such as friction and magnetism.

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Forces and Magnets

Curriculum subtopic:  Forces: Contact and Magnetic

Difficulty level:  

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QUESTION 1 of 10

Forces make objects move. 

Some forces need a contact between two objects. Others work without any direct contact with the object they act on.

Pushing and pulling are examples of contact forces.

Magnetism and gravity are examples of non-contact forces.

This man is pushing boxes on his trolley.

 

Is pushing a contact or non-contact force?

contact

non-contact

This wooden train set uses magnets to attach the engine to the carriages.

Complete this sentence.

The magnets cause the engine and the carriages to be _____________ each other.

repelled by

attracted to

glued to

This little girl is playing with her wooden train set. 

Is she using a contact or non-contact force to move the train around the track?

contact

non-contact

Let's have another look at that picture.

Can you identify another contact force that is acting on the train?

Write one word.

Here is another wooden train set.

This wooden engine is not coupled to any carriages despite both having magnets.

 

 

Why are the engine and the carriages not coupled together?

The distance between the two objects is too great.

Blue engines cannot couple to yellow trucks.

James has noticed that the engines will not always 'stick together' if they are too far apart. He asks his dad why; Dad explains that sometimes the magnets on the end of the trains are not strong enough to attract over a large distance. 

They decide to carry out an investigation to see how far apart the trains have to be before they will no longer attract each other.

They use two engines, some long pieces of track and a ruler.

 

 

Can you think of a factor that James and his dad must always keep the same?

the two engines

the room where they carry out the investigation

the length of the piece of track

James and his dad place the two engines at different ends of a straight piece of track.

They measured the distance between the two engines with a ruler before 'letting them go' to see if they would attract each other.

 

They recorded their results in the table below.

 

Distance (mm) Attraction (Yes / No)
50 No
40 No
30 Yes
20 Yes
10 Yes

 

 

According to their results, what is the maximum distance that two engines can be apart and still attract one another?

50 mm

40 mm

30 mm

20 mm

10 mm

When James' dad turns the black engine around, he and James notice that instead of attracting each other, the two engines move away from each other.

Dad explains to James that this is called repulsion, and that the two magnets on each engine are the same. 

Is repulsion a contact or non-contact force?

contact

non-contact

Is this statement true or false?

Friction is a contact force.

true

false

Decide which force is a contact force and which is a non-contact force.

  Contact Non-contact
magnetism
push
pull
friction
repulsion
  • Question 1

This man is pushing boxes on his trolley.

 

Is pushing a contact or non-contact force?

CORRECT ANSWER
contact
EDDIE SAYS
Pushing is a contact sport. You have to physically touch an object in order to make it move.
  • Question 2

This wooden train set uses magnets to attach the engine to the carriages.

Complete this sentence.

The magnets cause the engine and the carriages to be _____________ each other.

CORRECT ANSWER
attracted to
EDDIE SAYS
The magnets on the base of each piece of the train allow them to be attracted to each other.
I love playing with my wooden train set. Do you like to play with yours?
  • Question 3

This little girl is playing with her wooden train set. 

Is she using a contact or non-contact force to move the train around the track?

CORRECT ANSWER
contact
EDDIE SAYS
The girl is pushing her train around the track. Pushing is a contact force.
  • Question 4

Let's have another look at that picture.

Can you identify another contact force that is acting on the train?

Write one word.

CORRECT ANSWER
friction
EDDIE SAYS
Friction is a contact force which is created when two objects touch each other. As the little girl pushes her wooden train around the track she generates friction between the track and the wheels of the train.
  • Question 5

Here is another wooden train set.

This wooden engine is not coupled to any carriages despite both having magnets.

 

 

Why are the engine and the carriages not coupled together?

CORRECT ANSWER
The distance between the two objects is too great.
EDDIE SAYS
These trains are fabulous but they only couple together by magnetism when they are close to each other.
  • Question 6

James has noticed that the engines will not always 'stick together' if they are too far apart. He asks his dad why; Dad explains that sometimes the magnets on the end of the trains are not strong enough to attract over a large distance. 

They decide to carry out an investigation to see how far apart the trains have to be before they will no longer attract each other.

They use two engines, some long pieces of track and a ruler.

 

 

Can you think of a factor that James and his dad must always keep the same?

CORRECT ANSWER
the two engines
EDDIE SAYS
Different engines may have different magnets on them.
  • Question 7

James and his dad place the two engines at different ends of a straight piece of track.

They measured the distance between the two engines with a ruler before 'letting them go' to see if they would attract each other.

 

They recorded their results in the table below.

 

Distance (mm) Attraction (Yes / No)
50 No
40 No
30 Yes
20 Yes
10 Yes

 

 

According to their results, what is the maximum distance that two engines can be apart and still attract one another?

CORRECT ANSWER
30 mm
EDDIE SAYS
The actual maximum distance may be slightly greater than 30 mm. James and his dad did not measure any distances between 30 and 40 mm.
  • Question 8

When James' dad turns the black engine around, he and James notice that instead of attracting each other, the two engines move away from each other.

Dad explains to James that this is called repulsion, and that the two magnets on each engine are the same. 

Is repulsion a contact or non-contact force?

CORRECT ANSWER
non-contact
EDDIE SAYS
Repulsion is caused when two magnets which have the same poles are placed together.
All magnets have two poles, north and south. When north and south are together they attract; placing north and north or south and south together will cause repulsion.
Repulsion is a push force, but it is a non-contact force.
  • Question 9

Is this statement true or false?

Friction is a contact force.

CORRECT ANSWER
true
EDDIE SAYS
Friction is caused when two objects touch each other.
  • Question 10

Decide which force is a contact force and which is a non-contact force.

CORRECT ANSWER
  Contact Non-contact
magnetism
push
pull
friction
repulsion
EDDIE SAYS
Magnetism is a very powerful force which can act over a long distance if the magnets are strong enough.
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