Coward Punch -  Calculating The Force Of A Punch

Coward Punch - Calculating The Force Of A Punch

Lesson 4 of 5 in this unit

  • Secondary
  • Year 9 - 10
  • Science
  • Physics
  • Social
  • Mental Health
  • Physical Health
  • Social Action
  • ...

Lesson summary

In this lesson, students will use their knowledge of forces, energy and the laws of motion to investigate an issue in society – the coward punch. They will learn about the coward punch in context, investigate the factors that affect the force of a punch, explain these using motion principles and perform calculations for forces and energy in a collision.

Learning intentions:

Students will...

  • investigate what causes large forces in a punch
  • perform calculations involving forces, energy and Newton’s Second Law
  • understand that the motion resulting from a coward punch is sufficient to cause significant injury or death.

Success criteria:

Students can...

  • identify the forces on an object being struck, falling and hitting the ground
  • calculate energy and force values
  • apply the laws of motion to a real-world scenario
  • explain the application of motion concepts to an instance of the coward punch.

Lesson guides and printables

Lesson Plan
Student Worksheet
Teacher Content Info

Lesson details

Curriculum mapping

Australian Curriculum content descriptions: 

Year 10 Science:

  • Energy conservation in a system can be explained by describing energy transfers and transformations (ACSSU190)
  • The motion of objects can be described and predicted using the laws of physics (ACSSU229)

Syllabus outcomes: SC5-10PW, SC5-11PW

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability, Ethical Understanding

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: 
Students explain the concept of energy conservation and represent energy transfer and transformation within systems. They apply relationships between force, mass and acceleration to predict changes in the motion of objects

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work STOP the Coward Punch: Science – Years 9 & 10

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium to High – teacher will moderate class discussions, run group activities and facilitate learning around a topic of violence which will require sensitivity and nuance

Resources required


This lesson is designed to build students’ competencies in the following skills:

  • Critical thinking
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Problem solving

Additional info

These resources have been designed in partnership with Danny Green's STOP the Coward's Punch campaign.

Danny Green’s STOP the Coward Punch campaign was started in 2012 with the aim of raising awareness of the devastating effects of the coward punch on the community, including the physical and mental scars survivors, families and friends are left with for life.

STOP the Coward Punch believes in the right of all people to enjoy themselves, safely and free from violence. With support from entertainers, athletes, community leaders, politicians and everyday Australians, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the simple precautions we – as a community and as individuals – can take to ensure safe and enjoyable outings and, ultimately, reduce the number of coward punch occurrences in our communities.

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