Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

World of Motion

Explore the relationship of friction, mass and distance by building and racing cars on different track surfaces. Integrating science and math students will hypothesize the correlation between their car design on specific surfaces and its relationship to speed and mass. 

  • Recognizing different forces and directions of motion acting upon the test cars
  • Write a detailed description explaining ways to change the effect that friction has on the motion of objects: list examples (grade level specific –may include F= M x A or (Speed).

Program Description: Students alter the mass of their groups’ car to increase acceleration on 3 different friction surfaces.  Discussion on Newton’s second law of motion (depending on grade level): Force (F) = mass (m) X acceleration (a).  As the force acting on an object increases, the acceleration increases.  As the mass of the object increases, the acceleration of the object decreases.


SC Academic State standards for Science:

3-5.3 Explain how the motion of an object is affected by the strength of a push or pull and the mass of the object.

4-1.3 Summarize the characteristics of a simple scientific investigation that represent a fair test (including a question that identifies the problem, a prediction that indicates a possible outcome, a process that tests one manipulated variable at a time, and results that are communicated and explained).

5-5.6 Explain how a change of force or a change in mass affects the motion of an object.

6-5.2 Explain how energy can be transformed from one form to another (including the two types of mechanical energy, potential and kinetic, as well as chemical and electrical energy) in accordance with the law of conservation of energy.

7-1.3 Explain the reasons for testing one independent variable at a time in a controlled scientific investigation.

8-1.3 Construct explanations and conclusions from interpretations of data obtained during a controlled scientific investigation.