Overview of Section Resources

Section 1: The Planets
Students learn about objects in the solar system and make scale models of planets. Students also observe the planets in the night sky, and plot where the world's largest known meteorites struck.
Section 2: Planet Size and Distance
Students appreciate the relative sizes of the Sun, Earth, and Moon by constructing scale models. They understand the vast distances between planetary orbits by plotting these on another scale model.
Section 3: Gravity and Orbits
Gravity makes things move! Students discover that gravity pulls all objects toward Earth at the same rate of acceleration—as long as there isn't any friction. Through demonstrations and a video of astronauts, students find out that objects in orbit are constantly falling. Students then identify gravity as the force that keeps planets in orbit around the Sun.
Section 4: Launching a Rocket
A bottle rocket launch shows Newton's third law of motion in action. As a class, students conduct controlled experiments during the launch, analyze data, and draw conclusions.
Section 5: Toys in Space
It's time to play, for students and astronauts! Students observe the effects of gravity on toys on Earth, then predict how the toys will work in space. After viewing a video of astronauts playing with toys on board the space shuttle, students make, test, and modify other toys that behave differently in free fall than they do at Earth's surface.
Section 6: Constellations
Students observe the changing position of the stars in the night sky, and even tell time by the stars! They use models to demonstrate both the apparent movement of stars and the vast distances between stars that appear to be close together.
Section 7: Properties of Stars
Students observe the difference between a star's absolute magnitude and its apparent magnitude, then go on to model differences in real and apparent size. Students observe a demonstration that relates a range of colors to a range of temperatures. Students conclude the section by playing a star classification game.