Conservation of Momentum


Cameron Pittman, Teacher

School / Organization, City and State / Province
Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, TN

Grade Level

Standards Met
Conservation of Momentum

Next Generation Science Standards:
HS.PS-FM Forces and Motion, performance standards (b) generate and analyze data to support the claim that the total momentum of a closed system of objects before an interaction is the same as the total momentum of the system of objects after an interaction, (c) use algebraic equations to predict the velocities of objects after an interaction when the masses and velocities of objects before the interaction are known, and (e) construct a scientific argument supporting the claim that the predictability of changes within systems can be understood by defining the forces and changes in momentum both inside and outside the system.

Science and Engineering Practices:

  • Planning and carrying out investigations
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions
  • Developing and using models

ACT Standards:

  • Scientific Investigation – Predict the results of an additional trial or measurement in an experiment (24-27), Determine the experimental conditions that would produce specific results (24-27), Identify an alternate method for testing a hypothesis (28-32).
  • Evaluation of Models, etc – Select a simple hypothesis, prediction, or conclusion that is supported by a data presentation or a model (20-23).

Time Needed
60 minutes.

Demonstrate conservation of momentum in two body collisions.

Students will design their own experiment to demonstrate the effects of mass and velocity on a two-body collision. Students will analyze the effects of varying momentum in collisions.


  • Mass
  • Velocity
  • Momentum
  • Conservation of Momentum
  • Collisions

Student Prerequisites

  • Mass
  • Velocity

Teacher Materials Needed

Student Materials Needed

Lesson Plan
Download Conservation of Momentum