Playground Physics 4+

New York Hall of Science

    • 4.6 • 5 Ratings
    • Free

iPad Screenshots


Discover and explore the physics in your own movements. Record a video of you or your friends, tap points along the way to trace a path of motion, and discover the motion, forces, and energy involved.

Educators can make Newton’s Laws of motion come alive with an app that was named one of Fast Company’s Top 10 mobile apps! Join a community of educators making inspiring learning experiences with Noticing Tools.

“Playground Physics is one of the most fun units that I’ve done in a long time. I’ve been teaching about 12 years, and everybody had a great time.” - Stacey, 8th grade science teacher

In Playground Physics, you can:

* Record a video of a performance or choose a stock video.
* Tap points along the video to trace a path of motion.
* Examine your performance closely with scrubbing video controls.
* Enter known measurements (height of an object, mass of the object being tracked) in English or metric units to reveal accurate data of your performance.
* Explore interactive, scrubbable graphs synchronized to the video playback. Graphs display the distance traveled and speed along the path in horizontal and vertical vectors.
* Add stickers to mark important moments in the performance (and for a laugh!).
* Play your video back in slow motion to closely examine your movements.
* Explore how distance, speed, and direction changes when things move.
* Understand how a person's or object's potential and kinetic energy change as they move.
* Save your performance as videos with data overlays or editable scenes.
* Share your performance videos or transfer editable scenes to other cloud services and apps through use of the Files app.

Ideal for middle and high school school science classrooms, Playground Physics and accompanying curriculum activities are aligned to and embody the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by integrating core ideas, scientific practices, cross-cutting concepts, and delight! The new 2023 edition of the curriculum is freely available at:

Playground Physics is one of the Noticing Tools (TM) from the New York Hall of Science. The full suite includes Choreo Graph, Fraction Mash, Size Wise, Volumize, and Picture Dots.

Noticing Tools were developed in collaboration with Local Projects, an award-winning media design firm based in New York.

What’s New

Version 1.4.6

1. The return of turtle mode! You can now play your video back in slow motion using the turtle button in the bottom right corner of the screen. When selected, turtle mode will turn green.
2. General optimization for iOS 16.

Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Editors’ Notes

Professional athletes have all kinds of fancy performance-analysis equipment at their disposal, but what if you’re just a kid who likes to run, jump, swing, and skateboard? This fascinating app lets you take videos of people at play and calculate the speed, force, and energy of their movements—just by tracing lines on the screen. It’s a wonderfully engaging way to get kids interested in physics fundamentals, and no multimillion-dollar sports contracts are required.

Gpmoto39 ,

Works great for high school conceptual physics student use

I've been searching for an app that my students can use more accurately time motion of falling objects and rolling objects, and pendulum motion. This is simple to use,quick to learn, and even gives average velocity between multiple points on a video. Cool speedometer on screen, and on screen graph of speed between multiple point.

Higgins_STEM ,

Helpful option

I’m a high school physics teacher, and this app is better than anything else free out there on mobile. I like that students can upload videos they took previously, but just watch out bc it only accepts landscape orientation. I also would really like to see some slow mo options, because the time intervals aren’t adjustable, so it works best on fairly slow moving objects. Otherwise, works well.

Developer Response ,

Hi Higgins_STEM, thank you so much for your review and feedback! We're sorry you're experiencing a glitch. We would be happy to provide further support, answer any more questions or receive your feedback via email at

App Privacy

The developer, New York Hall of Science, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

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