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Lesson 01 – What Can Forces Do?

Read About What Forces Can Do


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.

Muscular Force

Muscular force is when you apply a force using your body parts like your arms or legs.


An object is anything that has shape or form and can be seen or touched.


A force is a push or pull on another object and makes them move.

Forces Make Things Move

A soccer ball sits on a field. The ball will not move by itself. Can you make the ball move? You could kick it.

You want to get socks from a drawer. How do you open the drawer? You pull the handle.

Objects need a force to make them move. You kick a soccer ball with your foot. You pull a drawer with your hand. Pushing and pulling are forces. Forces make things move.

You use muscular force to push and pull.

Forces Make Things Stop

Forces can also make objects stop. A shopping cart will roll down a hill. You can stop the cart by grabbing the handle. Or you could push against the cart. Pushing and pulling are forces. Pushing and pulling can make objects stop moving.

What Else Can Forces Do?

Change Speed
Change Direction
Change Speed

Forces can change the speed of an object. You push a toy car to make the car start moving. To make the car go faster, you can push the car harder. You can use force to change the speed of a moving object. The second push makes the car go faster.

Change Direction

Forces can make an object change direction. To change the direction of a baseball that is pitched, you hit the ball with a bat. When you hit the baseball, you push the ball with the bat. The baseball changes direction and moves away from you.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.