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Short Description: In this kinesthetic activity, students use their own bodies to create a model of the solar system and the forces the sun and planets exert on each other and on passing objects such as spacecraft.
Gravity: It's What Keeps Us Together
Grade Level: 5-8
Our Solar System
Deep Space 1 (Asteroids),
Voyager 1 (Our Solar System)
Science Education Standards:
By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that: The Earth's gravity pulls any object on or near the Earth toward it without touching it. 4G/E1
By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that: Every object exerts gravitational force on every other object. The force depends on how much mass the objects have and on how far apart they are. The force is hard to detect unless at least one of the objects has a lot of mass. 4G/M1
The sun's gravitational pull holds the Earth and other planets in their orbits, just as the planets' gravitational pull keeps their moons in orbit around them. 4G/M2
National Science Education Standards
As a result of their activities in grades 5-8, all students should develop an understanding of Motions and Forces
If more than one force acts on an objects along a straight lines, then the forces will reinforce and cancel one another, depending on their direction and magnitude. Unbalanced forces will cause changes in the speed or direction of an object's motion.
EARTH AND SPACE SCIENCE:
Earth in the Solar System
Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion.
Gravity is the force that keeps plants in orbit around the sun and governs the rest of the motion in the solar system.
Source: NASA's The Space Place