In this 5E Explore activity, students collect observations about how changes in the mass of two objects or changes in the distance between two objects affects the strength of the gravitational forces between the objects. They then are asked to used the collected evidence to support or reject the following claim “Gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of the interacting objects.”
Supports NGSS MS--PS-2-4 Construct and present arguments using evidence to support the claim that gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of interacting objects.
Explore Gravity Force Lab
This has students work with the virtual lab Gravity Force Lab from PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder. (Simulation use is free). If you use the HMTL version of Gravity Force Lab it will work on Chromebooks and does not require you to install Java.
For the majority of the lab I use a coaching approach with my students to encourage them to problem solve and make connections between the simulation and the claim they are testing.
Examples of Coaching Questions for this Explore
•What does each part of the model represent? (arrows, sphere)
•What is the best way to document your observations?
•What evidence from the simulation would support that claim?
•Why might you reject that claim?
In this simulation, the forces are very small and you will need to decide if your students will be expected to record the results in scientific notation or not. In my experience only my honors students are proficient in using scientific notation at the time of the year that I usually assign this lab so I do not require students to use scientific notation.
I also found that different computer screens have different resolutions so you might see a difference in the student numerical answers, however for this lab, the general trend of increasing or decreasing gravitational force as the masses and distances are changed is all that is required to meet the performance expectation.
I have included a 4 question assessment (page four of the PDF handouts) I use at the end of the lab to evaluate student understanding of the topic and to have them construct and argument to support or reject the following claim “Gravitational interactions are attractive and depend on the masses of the interacting objects.”
⭐This is a Google Doc Version of this investigation. If you would like a PDF version Check out 5e Explore Investigation for NGSS MS-PS-2-4: Gravity and Forces PDF⭐
Other Products Related to this Topic
I take pride in my materials and guarantee satisfaction. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me at email@example.com
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Consider Following My Store for Timely Updates
You can be the first to know about new products and upcoming events by following me. I only send out meaningful notes to followers and only occasionally.
I post new products a couple of times per month. To follow me, click on the little "Follow Me" button by the green star ⭐right below my Ratelis Science store name that you can find on any of my pages.
✅Leave Feedback and Earn Credits✅
I take pride in my products and appreciate quality feedback. My hope is that my products will meet your highest expectations. Leaving feedback also earns you "credits" which can be used for discounts on future purchases.
To leave feedback, just go to your My Purchases page (you might need to login). Next to each listed purchase will be a Provide Feedback button. Click it and be taken to the page to leave a rating and short comment.