- Explain why, on Earth, we can only feel gravity pulling us down, and not sideways towards other objects.
- Explain how gravity influences the motion of planets in our solar system.
- Understand the usefulness of models as well as their limitations.
OverviewWhy can we feel gravity pull us down towards the Earth, but not sideways towards other big objects like buildings? Why do the planets in our solar system orbit the sun instead of flying off into space? In this lesson plan your students will develop a model for gravity and use it to explore answers to these questions.
NGSS AlignmentThis lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
These materials will be enough to set up the activity for the entire class. For a large class, you may want to split into two groups, so you will need twice as many materials. The following supplies are available from Amazon.com:
Disclaimer: Science Buddies participates in affiliate programs with Home Science Tools, Amazon.com, Carolina Biological, and Jameco Electronics. Proceeds from the affiliate programs help support Science Buddies, a 501(c)(3) public charity, and keep our resources free for everyone. Our top priority is student learning. If you have any comments (positive or negative) related to purchases you've made for science projects from recommendations on our site, please let us know. Write to us at email@example.com.
Entire class (two groups for large class)
Area of Science
Mass, gravity, orbit
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
Explore Our Science Videos
How to Make a Bristlebot
Two-Stage Balloon Rocket Introduction
Make a Lemon Volcano - Fun Science Experiment