FOSS Module Summary

Course Summary – Force and Motion (1st Ed.)


The FOSS Force and Motion Course investigates linear motion, including position and several aspects of change of position—distance, displacement, speed, velocity, and acceleration. They investigate fundamental forces (gravity and electromagnetism) in familiar environments, such as pushes, pulls, impacts, and falls. Interaction and outcomes are represented graphically to help students think mathematically about their observations. Investigations of opposing forces and additive forces help students develop the idea that a net force on an object produces motion. An object in motion has momentum, which is conserved. Students acquire the most fundamental and important understanding about the interplay between force and motion.


  • Observe and describe an object’s motion in terms of change of position.
  • Explain how to use a reference point to determine the distance moved by an object.
  • Use tools to gather data and mathematics to organize and analyze data.
  • Explain speed in terms of distance and time and use speed graphs to determine head starts.
  • Transform narrative accounts of motion events into graphic representations.
  • Explain the difference between displacement and distance.
  • Conduct experiments to acquire distance or displacement and time data to determine speed, velocity, and acceleration.
  • Use tools (pushers, spring scales, and multimedia simulations) to apply force and to investigate force and motion.
  • Analyze illustrations of forces in motion.
  • Describe change of motion as a result of net force.
  • Determine the relationship between mass and the force of gravity using spring scales, and explain gravity as a universal force.
  • Explain and apply the interplay of force and time (impulse) and momentum in crashes.
  • Acquire vocabulary concerning these concepts: position, distance, displacement, speed, velocity, acceleration, motion, force, gravity, impulse, and momentum.
  • Exercise language, social studies, and math skills in the context of science.
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations: observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, relating, and inferring.

For a description of each investigation in the Force and Motion Course and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Course Summary PDF.

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