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Forces in Everyday Life

In this worksheet, students will be offered the opportunity to consider how forces govern much of what we experience in everyday life and why ordinary things are designed the way they are.

'Forces in Everyday Life' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 2

Curriculum topic:  Forces

Curriculum subtopic:  Resistance and Friction

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Once you open your eyes to them, you'll be amazed to discover just how many forces are involved in ordinary everyday activities.

 

Open eyes

 

Let's have a look....

Nathan is out on his bike - he's cycling along the road at a steady speed.

 

Boy on bike

 

What is name of the force acting against him?

air resistance

friction

wind

When Nathan wants to speed up he pedals faster. This gives him more what?

force

effort

thrust

Back home after his cycle Nathan is hot and sweaty and so he decides to take a shower.

 

What force ensures that he gets wet?

electricity

friction

gravity

After his shower, Nathan goes into the kitchen to make a sandwich. He starts to cut the loaf of bread but finds that the knife is too blunt to do it properly. He tries a sharper one.

 

Why do you think the sharper one is better?

he needs less force to cut the bread

a sharper knife makes it easier

it takes less time to cut the bread

Once he's finished his sandwich, Nathan decides it's time to do some bike maintenance.

 

He goes out to his bike only to discover that the front tyre's flat. He's going to need to take the front wheel off to mend the puncture.

 

Spanner

 

To undo the nut holding the wheel on Nathan uses a long spanner.

 

Why do you think a long spanner is best for this job?

it grips the nut better

it's much stronger

it means Nathan uses less force to undo the nut

To his annoyance Nathan drops the nut as it comes off the bike and it rolls under the shed.

 

What do you think would be the easiest way for Nathan to get the nut out from under the shed?

use long tweezers

use a broom

use a magnet

Once Nathan has repaired the puncture and put the wheel back on to the bike, he uses some oil on the chain.

 

What do you think is the best explanation for why he does this?

it keeps the bike chain clean

it reduces friction so the chain goes round more easily

it stops it being noisy as it goes round

Once he's finished with his bike Nathan takes his younger brother, Tom, to the park to play on the equipment there.

 

Tom hops on to one of these horses and bounces around.

 

Playground horse 

 

Which force is Tom mainly playing with?

stretching force

gravity

friction force

pushing force

While Tom is enjoying himself on the horse, Nathan has a go on the park slide.

 

Playground slide

 

Which forces do you think ensure that Nathan has fun on the slide (tick all you think do)?

gravity

pushing

magnetism

friction

Back in their garden Nathan and Tom make a toy slide from a piece of wood (like a ramp) and try rolling marbles down it. They roll the marbles on to different surfaces and find that the marbles go further on some surfaces than others.

 

Marbles

 

Which of these surfaces do you think the marble would go furthest on?

grass

concrete path

gravel path

flower bed

  • Question 1

Nathan is out on his bike - he's cycling along the road at a steady speed.

 

Boy on bike

 

What is name of the force acting against him?

CORRECT ANSWER
friction
EDDIE SAYS
A tricky one to start off with! Yes, the cause is air resistance/wind but that's a type of FRICTION (the air particles are bashing against body and bike).
  • Question 2

When Nathan wants to speed up he pedals faster. This gives him more what?

CORRECT ANSWER
thrust
EDDIE SAYS
THRUST is the name given to a pushing force, in this case his legs pushing on the pedals giving thrust to the wheels and so to the bike.
  • Question 3

Back home after his cycle Nathan is hot and sweaty and so he decides to take a shower.

 

What force ensures that he gets wet?

CORRECT ANSWER
gravity
EDDIE SAYS
Without gravity the water would not fall on Nathan, so that ensures he gets wet. Gravity pulls the water towards the Earth.
  • Question 4

After his shower, Nathan goes into the kitchen to make a sandwich. He starts to cut the loaf of bread but finds that the knife is too blunt to do it properly. He tries a sharper one.

 

Why do you think the sharper one is better?

CORRECT ANSWER
he needs less force to cut the bread
EDDIE SAYS
It might be easier and take less time but that's because the sharper knife means Nathan uses less force to do the job, so it's easier and quicker.
  • Question 5

Once he's finished his sandwich, Nathan decides it's time to do some bike maintenance.

 

He goes out to his bike only to discover that the front tyre's flat. He's going to need to take the front wheel off to mend the puncture.

 

Spanner

 

To undo the nut holding the wheel on Nathan uses a long spanner.

 

Why do you think a long spanner is best for this job?

CORRECT ANSWER
it means Nathan uses less force to undo the nut
EDDIE SAYS
The longer the spanner the less force Nathan needs - the longer distance helps to transfer more of his effort to turning the nut. That's why door handles are a long way from the hinges - why not try closing a door by pushing close to the hinges; do you need more force?
  • Question 6

To his annoyance Nathan drops the nut as it comes off the bike and it rolls under the shed.

 

What do you think would be the easiest way for Nathan to get the nut out from under the shed?

CORRECT ANSWER
use a magnet
EDDIE SAYS
They might all work but since the nut is made of steel it'll be attracted to a magnet. So all Nathan has to do is to attach the magnet to a long stick, poke it under the shed, wave it around and any iron/steel objects will stick to it. Bet he'll find all sorts of other things under the shed as well as his nut!
  • Question 7

Once Nathan has repaired the puncture and put the wheel back on to the bike, he uses some oil on the chain.

 

What do you think is the best explanation for why he does this?

CORRECT ANSWER
it reduces friction so the chain goes round more easily
EDDIE SAYS
Oil is a LUBRICATING FLUID which means that it forms a layer around the links of the chain, reducing the rubbing force of friction and ensuring that the chain rotates easily. As a result it may well be quieter too and the oil prevents rust which is also a good thing.
  • Question 8

Once he's finished with his bike Nathan takes his younger brother, Tom, to the park to play on the equipment there.

 

Tom hops on to one of these horses and bounces around.

 

Playground horse 

 

Which force is Tom mainly playing with?

CORRECT ANSWER
stretching force
EDDIE SAYS
As the horse is based on a spring it's a stretching force: as Tom moves his body to and fro the spring under the horse stretches, building up a force which then pulls him in the opposite direction.
  • Question 9

While Tom is enjoying himself on the horse, Nathan has a go on the park slide.

 

Playground slide

 

Which forces do you think ensure that Nathan has fun on the slide (tick all you think do)?

CORRECT ANSWER
gravity
friction
EDDIE SAYS
Nathan needs gravity to pull him down the slide and not too much friction so that he can build up a little speed so it's fun.
  • Question 10

Back in their garden Nathan and Tom make a toy slide from a piece of wood (like a ramp) and try rolling marbles down it. They roll the marbles on to different surfaces and find that the marbles go further on some surfaces than others.

 

Marbles

 

Which of these surfaces do you think the marble would go furthest on?

CORRECT ANSWER
concrete path
EDDIE SAYS
For the marble to roll a reasonable distance it needs less friction: grass and earth will slow it down. Gravel gets in the way of the marble's journey more than a plain concrete path, so that offers the least friction and so the marble should travel furthest on it.
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