Testing Forces!

Year 3 were sent a very exciting and important letter from the Director of a toy company. Ms Pullman from ‘Play and Learn Toys’ wrote to us asking for our help as their new range of toys will work using a range of forces and magnetism. They want us to take on the task of testing some new product ideas, advising them and even possibly designing some new toys and games!

Our first task was to investigate surfaces and their affect on toy cars. We tested several different materials by releasing cars down a ramp and measuring how far they travelled.

We have made some very important scientific discoveries. Over to you Year 3, explain what we did, how we kept it a fait test and what did we discover….?


  1. When we were testing forces the thing we kept the same was the car and the ramp. The thing we changed was the material. We used a metre stick to measure how far the car went.

  2. I really enjoyed what we did. We did seeing if the toy car would go down fast, slowly or doesn’t move at all. The things we kept the same were the cars, the place we released it and the ramp. We changed different surfaces so we can test each one. We also used a meter stick so we can measure how far It went. That’s everything we did today and I hope you had a wonderful day yourself. Bye!

  3. I discovered that on some of the surfaces the car travels quickly, whilst on the other surfaces it goes slowly or does not move at all, like towel or bubble wrap. I really enjoyed the testing!

  4. Fantastic comments so far Year 3 – Were there any surprises in your results?
    Which material offered the most resistance and which the least resistance?

  5. The suprise of our results in our testing was that I thought the bubble-wrap might move not far down with the towel.
    The most resistance was the card,
    The least resistance was the newspaper because the car curled but when it curled it went 50cm far.

  6. I loved the lesson, it was so fun and we needed
    to keep it a fair test because it would not just
    be fair on some people. The things that were
    the same was the ramp and the car. We
    did not push the car we released it carefully. Finally the only thing we could change was the measurement so like 2 meters
    and 40cm. I really enjoyed this investigation.

    • Charlie, remember to do an investigation correctly, we need to keep all the variables the same (the ramp, the car, how we released the car from the same point) except for the one we are testing – in this case the type of material. Our results depended on how much resistance the cars met on the ramp. I am glad you enjoyed the investigation, we have many more to do this topic!

  7. We did a test on forces and magnetism, to make this a fair test we kept the car the same the ramp the same and the way we pushed the car the same. In this experiment I learnt that on some surfaces the car traveled really fast like the silk and newspaper but for some surfaces it didn’t even move like the bubble rap and towel, but this test was really fun.

  8. It was so enjoyable whilst testing forces and magnetism, I learned that towel and bubble wrap had had high resistance so it didn’t move at all.But the newspaper had caused lower friction because it was so smooth and it wouldn’t stop the car.

  9. I discovered that when we tested cars on the ramp when we put on different surfaces and not all of the surfaces we put the cars on actually let the car move like the bubble wrap and the towel I really enjoyed that I think we should do it more often!

  10. The test was mainly about forces. For some surfaces the car didn’t move at all while for other surfaces the car had been moving on the ramp and some times it was moving on the floor. That had mainly happened in my investigation. For some surfaces the car had moved to a very far distance I learnt lots of new things such as friction and what friction is.

  11. What I have discovered is that the newspaper offers the least and on the bubble wrap the car did not move well at all. I really enjoyed the investigations.

  12. Amelia said on a different page…
    In class with Mrs Byrne we tested cars because we got a letter from a company to ask us for our help. We kept the ramp and cars the same every time, the only thing we changed was the material. The materials that the car did not move on was the bubble wrap and the towel. The one it did move swiftly on was the silk and the sand paper. To make it a fair test we let the car go at the same place every time and we got a metre stick and measured the car from the back every time as well.

  13. I found this learning really fun! The bubble wrap and towel made the cars slow and the other materials we tested worked much better. I hope we can do this again.

  14. We changed the material but not the car or the plank. We did not push the car we just let it go. We also got a meter stick and measured how far it went.

  15. I really enjoyed this lesson. The lesson was about friction. We rolled a car down a ramp on different materials. One thing that surprised me was I thought the car would travel further down the towel than it did.
    The towel and the bubble wrap offered the most resistance. The sand paper and newspaper offered the least resistance. I’m looking forward to our next physics lesson.

    • I was surprised the car travelled so well on the sandpaper, it would be interesting to see if the results changed with different grains of sandpaper….

  16. We kept it a fair test by starting from the top of the ramp and not letting it start from the bottom of the ramp we really enjoyed it.

  17. I liked how we tested on different materials with the same car to keep it an fair test.

    We could have used a different material well like glass, rubber, wood or paper.

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