Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727) was an English scientist who made great contributions to physics, optics, math and astronomy. Among elementary and middle-school students, he is best known for his Three Laws of Motions and the Universal Law of Gravitation. Have you heard the story about an apple dropping on Newton’s head? Learn more at the following sites.
NASA: Newton’s Three Laws of Motion
“The motion of an aircraft through the air can be explained and described by physical principals discovered over 300 years ago by Sir Isaac Newton.” This illustrated, hyperlinked lesson created by NASA introduces Newton’s Laws of Motion and how they apply to aviation. The grade-level buttons (labeled 6-8, 9-12, and 11-12) link to related worksheets, activities, and quizzes. Stay on the Newton Guided Tour by navigating with the Next and Previous buttons, or jump to a new section by visiting the colored buttons (such as Kite Index or Model Rocket Index.)
The Physics Classroom: Newton’s Laws of Motion
The Physics Classroom is an illustrated, animated tutorial for high-school students written by high-school science teacher Tom Henderson. These four lessons explain Newton’s Laws of Motion with multimedia demonstrations and quizzes. My favorite clicks are the interactive activities listed in the Shockwave Physics Studio and the animations found in Multimedia.
PBS: Newton’s Dark Secrets
“He was the greatest scientist of his day, perhaps of all time. But while Isaac Newton was busy discovering the universal law of gravitation, he was also searching out hidden meanings in the Bible and pursuing the covert art of alchemy. In this program, NOVA explores the strange and complex mind of Isaac Newton.” Although few classrooms probably explore this side of Newton’s fascinating character, I include it for variety. Best clicks are His Legacy, and Einstein on Newton.
For more on Isaac Newton and links to the sites reviewed here, visit Isaac Newton at “Surfing the Net with Kids”.