Give Me a Boost—How Gravity Assists Aid Space Exploration

This Give Me a Boost—How Gravity Assists Aid Space Exploration lesson plan also includes:

The propellant needed for space explorations runs in the thousands, while paying to get the craft into orbit costs millions! In the second installment of three, two activities explore laws of conservation of energy and momentum. Using these two laws, groups then use an interactive simulation to explore ways scientists use gravity to assist in moving spacecrafts around in space instead of paying millions for fuel.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • This is an extensive activity, very well written, including critical thinking questions; read through each portion carefully and complete all activities before using in class
Classroom Considerations

  • For activity two, each group needs access to a computer and the Internet
  • Activity assumes learners understand the Law of Conservation of Energy and momentum
  • For activity one, each group needs a 3 ft x 3 ft space, so plan accordingly
Pros

  • Provides extensive background information, lesson adaptations, extension suggestions, all worksheets, discussion questions, and teacher tips
  • Activity is meant to challenge a high school learner through thinking, mathematical calculations, and exploration
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS