Newton’s Second Law Activity: Hands-On Lab


Grades 7 and Up

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Answers the question “What effect does MASS have on the FORCE needed to move an object?” Have fun with Newton’s Second Law with this 2-part hands-on investigation!

Materials Needed:

  • physics carts (or similar with wheels that can be pulled)
  • fishing weights (or any other weights)
  • 1N spring scales
  • balance or digital scale
  • rulers
  • marbles
  • plastic or paper cups
  • pennies
  • elastics


  1. Students vary the weight of a cart or toy car and measure the force needed to move it by using a spring scale, then graph the data on the graph provided.
  2. Students use a simple ramp contraption (made from a ruler) to measure how far a rolling marble can push a cup with different numbers of pennies in it, then generate a graph from their data.
  3. Students write a paragraph to discuss the relationship between the MASS of an object and the FORCE it takes to move the object.

Teacher Notes:

  • Includes suggested answer key.
  • Please note: this Newton’s second law activity is not editable.
  • Related NGSS Standards:MS-PS2-2, MS-PS2-1, MS-PS3-1
  • NGSS Science & Engineering Practices: Planning and carrying out investigations; Analyzing and interpreting data; Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Check out more resources in the motion and Newton’s laws section of our shop!


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