Activities

Was Galileo Right?

Explore the effect of gravity on objects of various mass during free fall.

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Requirements

This activity runs entirely in a Web browser. Preferred browsers are: Google Chrome (versions 5 and above), Safari (versions 4 and above), Firefox (version 3.6.10 and above), and Internet Explorer (version 7, 8, or higher; note that version 6 or below does not work).

Investigate the effect of gravity on objects of various mass during free fall. Predict what the position-time and velocity-time graphs will look like. Compare graphs for light and heavy objects. Was Galileo Right is the last of five SmartGraphs activities designed for a typical physical science unit of study on the motion of objects. (The other four are: Maria’s Run; Motion Toward and Away; How Fast Am I Moving?; and, Describing Velocity.)

» Lesson Plan and Student Assessment documents are also available.

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AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008)

4. The Physical Setting

4B. The Earth
  • 4B/E1. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that things on or near the earth are pulled toward it by the earth's gravity.
4F. Motion
  • 4F/H4. By the end of the 12th grade, students should know that whenever one thing exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it.
4G. Forces of Nature
  • 4G/E1*. 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/M1. 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.

9. The Mathematical World

9B. Symbolic Relationships
  • 9B/E2. By the end of the 5th grade, students should know that tables and graphs can show how values of one quantity are related to values of another.
  • 9B/M2*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that rates of change can be computed from differences in magnitudes and vice versa.
  • 9B/M3*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that graphs can show a variety of possible relationships between two variables. As one variable increases uniformly, the other may do one of the following: increase or decrease steadily, increase or decrease faster and faster, get closer and closer to some limiting value, reach some intermediate maximum or minimum, alternately increase and decrease, increase or decrease in steps, or do something different from any of these.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models
  • 11B/M1*. By the end of the 8th grade, students should know that models are often used to think about processes that happen too slowly, too quickly, or on too small a scale to observe directly. They are also used for processes that are too vast, too complex, or too dangerous to study.

12. Habits of Mind

12D. Communication Skills
  • 12D/M1. By the end of the 8th grade, students should be able to organize information in simple tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal.
  • 12D/M2. By the end of the 8th grade, students should be able to read simple tables and graphs produced by others and describe in words what they show.

Copyright
© Copyright The Concord Consortium

Record Link
<a href="stem-resources/was-galileo-right">The Concord Consortium. Was Galileo Right?. Concord: The Concord Consortium, 2012, January 17.</a>

AIP
Was Galileo Right? (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2012, January 17), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/was-galileo-right).

AJP
Was Galileo Right? (The Concord Consortium, Concord, 2012, January 17), WWW Document, (http://concord.org/stem-resources/was-galileo-right).

APA
Was Galileo Right?. (2012, January 17). Retrieved 2014, October 30, from The Concord Consortium: http://concord.org/stem-resources/was-galileo-right

Disclaimer: The Concord Consortium offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure.

Requirements

This activity runs entirely in a Web browser. Preferred browsers are: Google Chrome (versions 5 and above), Safari (versions 4 and above), Firefox (version 3.6.10 and above), and Internet Explorer (version 7, 8, or higher; note that version 6 or below does not work).

Related Resources

Comments

Leave a comment

This was very useful for my

This was very useful for my class. Thanks!

Would be great if a

Would be great if a Certificate of Completion was available to the students at the end of the activity (a great way for educators to see they've completed it!)

Thanks for the feedback,

Thanks for the feedback, japtowitz. Interesting idea!
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SmartGraphsThis resource is a part of the Concord Consortium's SmartGraphs project.

Grade Level
Middle School
Subject
Mathematics, Physics
Focus Area
Modeling and Simulation
Rating
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