Site Feedback

Utah Science

Curriculum Consortium

Tyson Grover 

tgrover@dsdmail.net

Annette Nielson

afonnesbeck@dsdmail.net

Storyline Narrative 7.1.5

Standard 7.1.5: Engage in argument from evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions within a system are attractive and dependent upon the masses of interacting objects. Examples of evidence for arguments could include mathematical data generated from simulations or digital tools.

Student Friendly Objective: I can use evidence to support a claim about how mass affects gravitational pull.

Anchor Phenomenon: An astronaut is able to jump many feet on the moon even though he is wearing a very heavy spacesuit.

Big Idea: Gravitational pull between objects depends on the mass of the two objects.

Students are engaged as they watch video clips of astronauts bouncing and jumping on the moon. This will help them see that there is less gravity on the moon because the moon is smaller. The students will hypothesize whether gravity is stronger or weaker on different planets or the sun, based on the size of the object. Students can also compare how high or how far they can jump on earth compared to other planets, moons, and stars.

Students explore the difference between weight and mass as they use spring scales, triple-beam balances, and electronic scales. As they compare and contrast measurements from these instruments, they will learn that mass is the amount of matter in an object and mass does not change when gravity changes. Weight is a measure of how much gravity is pulling on a mass and weight changes when gravity changes. Students calculate their weight on other planets and state what their mass on the planet would be.

Students explain how the gravitational pull between objects in a system depends on the mass of the two objects as they change the mass of an object in a computer simulation. They also change the distance between objects in the system to observe how this affects the gravitational pull. Students use mathematics and computational thinking as they graph the results of the simulation. Students use evidence (from the results of the simulation) to support their claim that gravitational pull increases as the mass of an object increases and the distance between objects decreases.

Students elaborate on how the gravitational pull between objects depends on the mass of the two objects as they use a computer simulation that allows them to vary the mass of the sun, Earth, and the moon. Students apply what they have learned about gravity and use computational thinking to explain why the orbit of Earth changes as the mass of the sun changes and why the orbit of the moon changes as the mass of the earth changes.

Students can demonstrate their knowledge by presenting posters explaining the relationship between mass and gravitational pull.

Student knowledge of mass and gravitational pull is evaluated as they answer questions about the difference between mass and weight and determine how mass will affect the gravitational pull on a satellite and change its orbit.

You found the secret message! Huzzah!

Episode 1

Question

Why are astronauts able to bounce around on the moon?

Snapshot

Students observe videos of astronauts bouncing on the moon and discuss the effects of gravity.

Conceptual Understandings

It is easier for astronauts to move around or jump on the moon (even though they wear heavy suits) because there is less gravity on the moon, while other places in space have more gravity.

Why does an astronaut weigh less on the moon?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Mass and weight are not the same. Mass measures the amount of matter in an object, weight measures how much gravity pulls on a mass. Mass stays the same, no matter how much gravity there is, weight will change.

How does the mass of an object affect gravity?

Snapshot

Students compare and contrast  tools to measure mass and weight and calculate their weight on other planets.

Episode 2

Question

Why does an astronaut weigh less on the moon?

 

Episode 3

Question

How does the mass of an object affect gravity?

Snapshot

Students explain how changing the mass of an object or changing the distance between to objects affects the gravitational force.

Conceptual Understandings

The gravitational pull between two objects depends on their masses and the distance between them. The greater their mass, the greater the gravitational pull. The greater the distance, the weaker the gravitational pull.

How does gravity work on objects in space, that are really far away from each other?

 

Conceptual Understandings

Any change in mass affects the gravitational pull between objects. Changing the mass of the high mass object in the system has a greater effect on the gravitational pull in a system than changing the mass of the low mass object.

Can students create a claim about the relationship between mass and gravity and use evidence to support it?

Snapshot

Students use a simulation to vary the mass of the sun, the moon, and the earth and explain how these changes affect the gravitational pull in the system.

Episode 4

Question

How does gravity work on objects in space, that are really far away from each other?

 

Episode 5

Question

Can students create a claim about the relationship between mass and gravity and use evidence to support it?

Snapshot

Students write a claim about the relationship between mass and gravitational pull and gather the evidence needed to support a claim. This model is presented.

Conceptual Understandings

Mass and gravity are related to each other. As mass increases, so does gravity. When a claim is made in science, evidence has to support it.