- Langley Research Center
- Armstrong Flight Research Center
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory
- Kennedy Space Center
- Physical Science
- Exploring Space
- 060 min(s)
- 080 min(s)
How does the mass of each planet in our solar system relate to gravitational force?
This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference at Dryden Flight Research Center (DFRC), Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), and Kennedy Space Center (KSC).
This module is appropriate for video conference AND web conference (ConferenceME ONLY) at Langley Research Center (LaRC).
How high can you jump on Mars? Which planet has the most moons? Find out the answers to these questions and many more as you tour the solar system with a NASA Education Specialist. In this highly interactive session, students will use mathematics to explore and learn characteristics of the planets in our solar system.
As students hop through the Solar System, the student will:
Learners will describe what they know about the solar system.
Learners will explain the differences between matter, mass and gravity.
Learners will determine how mathematics can be used to determine planetary jump heights.
Learners will hypothesize which planet they can jump the highest and lowest
Learners will calculate hypothetical jump heights on different planets
Learners will tell which planets are terrestrial and which are gas giants.
Learners will contribute to the discussion of planetary facts.
Learners will explain how the data supports the proposed hypothesis.
Learners will relate mass to gravitational force.
Sequence of Events
How far away is most distant planet from the sun? By doing this activity, students will discover that it takes a long time to travel through our solar system. In the lesson, students use string to construct a distance scale model of the solar system. They will observe that the outer planets are much farther apart than the inner planets. To find out more about the lesson, Modeling Orbits in Our Solar System, please go to http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/educ/docs/modelingsolarsystem.pdf
Please download the Planet Hopping fact sheet located at the url listed below. Each student should have a copy of this sheet for the video conference.
Meter sticks and calculators should also be available for at least each group of three students.
During this highly interactive event, students will physically simulate hopping around the solar system. They begin by determining how high they can jump on Earth. Using those measurements, the students calculate how high they can jump on other planets. Join the DLN as we hop from planet to planet.
Please download the Planet Hopping fact sheet located at the url listed in the pre-conference activities. Each student should have a copy of this sheet for the video conference.
Do other stars besides our own sun have planets orbiting around them? NASA's Space Interferometry Mission cannot see the planets of nearby stars but can take measurements that indicate if a planet is present. In this simple hands-on activity, Looking for Planets Without Seeing Them, students will discover how NASA finds new planets beyond our solar system. http://planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/resources/pq_activity_guide.pdf
National Science Content Standards
* The student will develop an understanding of properties and motion of objects
* The student will develop an understanding of motions and forces
National Math Content Standards
* The student will formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them
* The student will understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems