The Rocket Sled Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on smart phones, on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be scaled to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with smart phones, iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive could be used anytime during a unit in on Newton's second law of motion. Numerous concepts are depicted by the animation. These include:
  • the concept of net force as the vector sum of all the forces
  • the principle that an unbalanced force causes an acceleration (changing velocity).
  • the idea that a balance of forces on a moving object results in a constant velocity motion.
  • the principle that the acceleration of an object is directly related to the net force and inversely related to the mass.
The Physics Classroom has prepared a short exercise that targets many of these concepts. The activity sheet for this exercise can be found on the Exercise page.

Our Rocket Sled simulation is now available with a Concept Checker. Do the simulation. Use our classroom-read exercise; process the activity with students. Then follow it up with the Concept Checker.


Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Rocket Sled Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments NL7 and NL8 of the Newton's Laws module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.
  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Newton's Second Law of Motion
    Net Force and Acceleration
    Newton's Second Law

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Labwork: 
    Simulations should always support (never supplant) hands-on learning. The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes several hands-on ideas that complement this Interactive. One notable lab idea is ...

    F-m-a Lab

    Visit The Laboratory.
  • Science Reasoning Activities:
    Science classrooms should be filled with reasoning activities. There is one related activity in the Newton's Laws section of the Science Reasoning Center that will challenge students to employ close reading, data analysis, and logical reasoning. The activity is named ...

    Carts, Bricks and Bands

    Visit the Science Reasoning Center.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Rocket Sled into an instructional unit on Newton's second law can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.


The Physics Classroom would like to extend a special thanks to Nerd Island Studios for the creation of this HTML5 Interactive. Visit to see more great stuff by Nerd Island Studios.

Visit: Interactive | Exercise