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The First Law of Motion

English audio with subtitles in English, Spanish and Portuguese.

What is motion? Did you open your mouth to reply? You just experienced motion! Motion is the action or process of moving or being moved. What are some motions that you experience every day? Eating, walking, jumping, singing…they all are different kinds of motion.

Even the planets move. The world spins in a circle and revolves around the sun. Ocean waves are motion. What is your favourite motion that you can do?

 A famous scientist named Isaac Newton had three laws about movement. The first one is—

“Unless acted upon by an external force, an object will remain at rest or moving in uniform motion and in a straight line.”

Isaac Newton – First law of movement

What is an external force? Well, an external force can be anything from wind to a motor. When we experiment today, the external force will be YOU!

Let’s experiment!

Let’s do some experiments about the first law of motion and see what we discover.

Remember to take careful notes.

You will need:

  • A marble
  • A toy car
  • A stone
  • A piece of felt
  • Newspaper
  • Finger paint
  • Large box with low edges

Let’s experiment!

  • If an object at rest tends to stay at rest outside of an external interference, let’s see if that’s true. Place a stone on the ground. Watch it carefully. Ask yourself—
    • Did it move?
    • How did it get there?
    • Was there an external force that put it where it is?
    • Do you find inanimate object generally stay where they are unless someone or something moves them?
  • An object in motion generally stays in motion unless acted on by an external force. Place your marble and toy car on a large smooth surface and get it to be still. Is it moving? Nope? Good. Now, you get to be the external force. Push the ball into motion. Ask yourself—
    • What direction is it moving?
    • Is it a straight line or curving?
    • What was the external force?
  • Let’s see what happens when the marble is pushed across other surfaces. Place a piece of felt and a piece of newspaper on the smooth surface. Now, set up your marble again. Push it in a line that ­­crosses over the felt and newspaper. Ask yourself—
    • Did the newspaper make the marble roll faster or slower?
    • Did the felt make the marble roll faster or slower?
    • Why do you think the other materials slowed the marble down?
  • Put your hands on your face. What temperature are they? Rub your hands together as fast as you can. Now, put them on your face. Are they hotter or cooler after rubbing them together? This is called friction. Friction can slow an object down. That’s why the marble rolled slower across surfaces with more friction.
  • One more experiment to go! This time let’s make it easier to see the direction. Make sure you wear play clothes. Put the newspaper in the bottom of the large box. Dip a marble into finger paint. Carefully, place the marble on the newspaper and push. Wipe off the marble with a rag and dip the marble into a different color. Place in the box, but swirl the box in a circle. Continue to use different colors and move the box in different ways. Keep careful notes of how you moved the box for each color. Look at the patterns and ask yourself—
    • What direction did the first ball move?
    • How did moving the box affect the movement of the ball?
    • Do you think this proves the first law of motion?

Review:

What have you learned about motion?

Does motion create heat or eliminate it?

Do objects naturally move in straight lines or swirling ones?

God created an orderly world. Every day we see motion, but all the motion follows the rules God created for it. Can you imagine how crazy the world would be if rocks moved themselves on their own? Or if nobody moved at all?

God had a careful plan when He made the world and set it into motion!


Bible Link:

In James 4:8, the Bible says to come near to God and He will come near to us. How do we move closer to God?

Think about a friend that you have. When did you first meet them? Did you like them immediately, or did it take you a while to get to know them? Becoming friends took motion. You needed to talk to that person. Read their emails or texts. Spend time with them. If you never took any of these actions, would you be friends?

It’s not likely. So how do we have a better relationship with God?

Repent, ask for Jesus’s forgiveness, and become part of the family of God.

Pray and ask Him to help you know Him better.

Read the Bible. It is a message He left for His people.

Fellowship with other believers in and out of church.

We don’t want to be a stone that never moves closer to God. We want to be a like a marble always drawing nearer to Him.

  1. Who set the world on its foundations?
  2. How do we draw closer to God?
  3. What is the first step in becoming part of God’s family?

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