Virtual Motion Lab



The virtual motion lab uses an online simulation from Phet in which students will explore balanced and unbalanced forcesfrictionspeedacceleration, and Newton’s Laws in an inquiry based fashion.


5 extension questions require students to apply their understanding of forces and Newton’s Laws.


Visit the Phet Sim here:


Purchase secures a ready to print PDF file with answer key.




This resource links to a website that requires Adobe Flash Player. Many browsers no longer support this software, but it is possible to work around this issue.


Here is a link for the download of a standalone flash player:

There is also a web-based flash emulator called Ruffle that works well for the activity:



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NGSS Standards covered in this virtual motion lab:

MS-PS2-1 Apply Newton’s Third Law to design a solution to a problem involving the motion of two colliding objects. Examples of practical problems could include the impact of collisions between two cars, between a car and stationary objects, and between a meteor and a space vehicle. Assessment is limited to vertical or horizontal interactions in one dimension.

MS-PS2-2 Plan an investigation to provide evidence that the change in an object’s motion depends on the sum of the forces on the object and the mass of the object. Emphasis is on balanced (Newton’s First Law) and unbalanced forces in a system, qualitative comparisons of forces, mass and changes in motion (Newton’s Second Law), frame of reference, and specification of units. Assessment is limited to forces and changes in motion in one-dimension in an inertial reference frame, and to change in one variable at a time. Assessment does not include the use of trigonometry.


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