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Masses & Springs

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Masses & Springs

In this online activity, learners use a realistic mass and spring laboratory. They hang masses from springs and adjust the spring stiffness and damping. Learners can even slow time and transport the lab to different planets! A chart shows the kinetic, potential, and thermal energy for each spring. Use this activity for a lesson on Hooke's Law and Conservation of Energy. This activity includes an online simulation, sample learning goals, a teacher's guide, and translations in over 30 languages.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Simulation

Arabic, Basque, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese

Materials List (per student)

  • Computer with online access, current Macromedia Flash software, and mouse


  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
      • Size and Scale
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
      • Potential and Kinetic Energy
      • Energy and Power
      • Work and Machines
    • Motion and Forces
      • Machines
      • Gravity
      • Momentum and Velocity
      • Acceleration
      • Newton's Laws
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • use mouse

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Dubson, Michael; Perkins, Kathy; Adams, Wendy


  • All Rights Reserved, University of Colorado, ©2011

Funding Sources:

  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • National Science Foundation
  • Excellence Center of Science and Mathematics Education at King Saud University
  • O'Donnell Foundation
  • The Mortenson Family Foundation


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists:

  • Thumbnail VASS by rmerton on 2012-07-10
  • Thumbnail Physics by dmercier01 on 2014-11-02