NSTA Press

Archive: Force and Motion: Stop Faking It!, January 15, 2009

Web Seminar Archive Digital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

This Web Seminar took place on January 15, 2009, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Presenting was Dr. Bill Robertson, NSTA Press Author of the popular series Stop Faking It! Understanding Science So You Can Teach It. In this Seminar Dr. Robertson focused the discussion on concepts from his book Force and Motion.

This is the second, of two Web Seminars scheduled as a follow-up to the Force and Motion: Stop Faking It! Symposium that took place at the NSTA Area Conference on Science Education in Portland, OR. In this program Dr. Robertson talked about circular orbits, frames of reference, gravitational force, and objects that orbit. He used several images from his book, Force and Motion: Stop Faking It! and a science simulation from one of the NSTA Science Objects to help illustrate the concepts.

Sixty-one (61) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenter and NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

Six participants attended the Web Seminar from countries outside the United Stares: Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Jamaica, Canada, Australia, and Indonesia. Seminar participants received a one year subscription to one of NSTA’s SciGuides for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Presenter: Bill Robertson

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Below are comments from individuals who attended the seminar:

  • "I teach in a teacher education program and it is important to me to have good visuals for teaching physical science."
  • "I gained a little more understanding of circular motion."
  • "I have been a science teacher for a few years, so it is good to see how other would teach topics I have taught. I think some of the examples and explanation will help me to explain things in a different way may benefit some of my students."
  • "I teach physics it was very useful in helping to generate ideas for lesson plans."

A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants' My Profile page in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

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Reviews (7)
  • on Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:48 PM

Good program to view for different ways to approach teaching circular motion. It addresses frame of reference concerning centrifugal forces and orbits and the role of inertia and gravity in teaching these concepts. The questioning sessions used to ascertain prior knowledge were excellent.

Patricia Jackson
Patricia Jackson

  • on Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:59 PM

This is a great webinar to eliminate our own preconceived notions regarding to force and motion. I really learned a lot and at first felt silly I did not get some of the answers right. Even though I watched the archive and did not participate in the live feed, the chats from the original participants helped in my gaining of knowledge in this area.

Jaime Kupfner  (Parkersburg, WV)
Jaime Kupfner (Parkersburg, WV)

  • on Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:23 PM

Bill Robertson does a fabulous job modeling how we should draw students into thinking about the concepts of motion and force. By engaging students in the conversation, students can work through their thinking, dispel their misconceptions, and come to a better understanding of how things move.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Sun Aug 30, 2009 4:35 PM

good resource material to help related to students

John Stevenson  (ADA, OK)
John Stevenson (ADA, OK)

  • on Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:46 PM

The web seminar offered great explanations of clearing student misconceptions

Melissa  (Saint Louis, MO)
Melissa (Saint Louis, MO)

  • on Wed Dec 11, 2013 7:48 PM

It always been a difficult to understand forces you cannot see but feel, one of these forces is centripetal force which is any motion in a curved path, and requires a force directed toward the center of curvature of the path. This is also referred to as "center seeking" force. With the illustrations accompanied with simple explanations, some of the concepts are a little less daunting.


  • on Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:38 PM

Overall pretty interesting and engaging. Loved the diagrams and vocabulary clarification. I found it very interesting that the only way to get the roll of tape to move away from you is to exert a force toward your body. I thought it was away from your body. I also found it interesting that in order to make an object move in a circle is to exert a force towards the center of the circle as well as a small path along the outside of the circle. I was a little confused about the spinning ride discussion. I think the diagram needs to show the arrow that represents the force of the person to the wall. Without that arrow the person should be falling down. I thought you needed balanced forces to cancel each other out. Definitely go clarification on being weightless in outer space. I thought since you weren’t on the earth you were considered weightless. Didn’t think about the earth continuing to pull on you no matter how far you are out in space. Good clarification to the ‘weightless’ topic. Mr. Robinson made it pretty clear as to why/how the earth can orbit the Sun. I am still a little confused by the diagrams he showed. He said 1 and 3 were not correct but that 2 and 4 were. I don’t understand how 2 is accurate. The arrow is only pointing down. Again, equal forces are confusing me. I thought it had to be there or the object would move. (In this case the Earth.)

Kimbra Moon
Kimbra Moon

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