ALEX Classroom Resource

  

Gravity Launch

  Classroom Resource Information  

Title:

Gravity Launch

URL:

http://sciencenetlinks.com/lessons/gravity-launch/

Content Source:

Science NetLinks
Type: Lesson/Unit Plan

Overview:

The purpose of this lesson is to explore how the Earth’s and moon’s gravity affects the path of a rocket launched into space. The heart of this lesson will focus on an online interactive, in which students launch a rocket from Earth on various space missions. Students will have control over the angle and thrust of the rocket and should see the relationship between the two as they change these settings. 

Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 5
6 ) Construct an explanation from evidence to illustrate that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed downward towards the center of Earth.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
Crosscutting Concepts: Cause and Effect
Disciplinary Core Idea: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Support an explanation with evidence that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • construct
  • explanation
  • gravitational force
  • evidence
  • illustrate
  • spherical
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The Earth's shape is spherical.
  • That objects dropped appear to fall straight down.
  • That people live all around the spherical Earth, and they all observe that objects appear to fall straight down.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Construct an explanation of observed relationships.
  • Use evidence to illustrate the relationship between gravity and objects on Earth.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • If Earth is spherical, and all observers see objects near them falling directly "down" to the Earth's surface, then all observers would agree that objects fall toward the Earth's center.
  • Since an object that is initially stationary when held moves downward when it is released, there must be a force (gravity) acting on the object that pulls the object toward the center of the Earth.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Earth: Gravity and Space
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
2 ) Construct models and use simulations (e.g., diagrams of the relationship between Earth and man-made satellites, rocket launch, International Space Station, elliptical orbits, black holes, life cycles of stars, orbital periods of objects within the solar system, astronomical units and light years) to explain the role of gravity in affecting the motions of celestial bodies bodies (e.g., planets, moons, comets, asteroids, meteors) within galaxies and the solar system.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Developing and Using Models
Crosscutting Concepts: Systems and System Models
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Place in the Universe
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Construct models to explain the role of gravity in affecting the motions of celestial bodies within galaxies and the solar system.
  • Use simulations to explain the role of gravity in affecting the motions of celestial bodies within galaxies and the solar system.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Model
  • Simulation
  • Gravity
  • Gravitational force
  • Solar system
  • Galaxy
  • Milky Way galaxy
  • Sun
  • Planets
  • Moons
  • Asteroids
  • Asteroid belt
  • Stars
  • Celestial bodies
  • Elliptical orbit
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • The solar system is a collection of bodies, including the sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and meteors.
  • A galaxy is any of the very large groups of stars and associated matter that are found throughout the universe.
  • The Earth's solar system is one of many systems orbiting the center of the larger system of the Milky Way galaxy.
  • Gravity is an attractive force between solar system and galaxy objects.
  • Gravity increases as the mass of the interacting objects increases.
  • Gravity decreases as the distances between objects increases.
  • Gravity affects the orbital motion of objects in our solar system (e.g., moons orbit around planets, all objects within the solar system orbit the sun).
  • Gravity is a predominantly inward-pulling force that can keep smaller/less massive objects in orbit around larger/more massive objects.
  • Gravity causes a pattern of smaller/less massive objects orbiting around larger/more massive objects at all system scales in the universe.
  • Gravitational forces from planets cause smaller objects (e.g., moons) to orbit around planets.
  • The gravitational force of the sun causes the planets and other bodies to orbit around it, holding the solar system together.
  • The gravitational forces from the center of the Milky Way cause stars and stellar systems to orbit around the center of the galaxy.
  • The hierarchy pattern of orbiting systems in the solar system was established early in its history as the disk of dust and gas was driven by gravitational forces to form moon-planet and planet-sun orbiting systems.
  • Objects too far away from the sun do not orbit it because the sun's gravitational force on those objects is too weak to pull them into orbit.
  • Without gravity smaller planets would move in straight paths through space, rather than orbiting a more massive body.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Develop a model and identify the relevant components including gravity and celestial bodies.
  • Describe the relationships and interactions between the components of the solar and galaxy systems.
  • Use the model to describe gravity and its effects.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Gravity is an attractive force between solar system and galaxy objects.
  • Gravity causes a pattern of smaller/less massive objects orbiting around larger/more massive objects at all systems scales in the universe.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Exploring Planetary Systems

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement:
E12.2: Early in the history of the universe, matter (primarily the light atoms hydrogen and helium) clumped together by gravitational attraction to form countless trillions of stars and billions of galaxies.

NAEP Statement:
E8.1a: In contrast to an earlier theory that Earth is the center of the universe, it is now known that the Sun, an average star, is the central and largest body in the solar system.

NAEP Statement:
E8.1b: Earth is the third planet from the Sun in a system that includes seven other planets and their moons, as well as smaller objects such as asteroids and comets.

NAEP Statement:
E8.2: Gravity is the force that keeps most objects in the solar system in regular and predictable motion. These motions explain such phenomena as the day, the year, phases of the Moon, and eclipses.


Tags: force, gravitational force, gravity, rocket
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  This resource provided by:  
Author: Stephanie Carver