In this no prep activity, students gather and analyze solar system data and draw conclusions in the form of a CER (claim, evidence, reasoning) argument. Students first complete their data table including the following data: Diameter, Distance from sun, Rotation, Orbital Period, and Orbital Speed. Students will then color in each of their planets to look like the surface of their planet. Students can find the data online, or they can use a textbook if available to find the information. After completing the data, the students look for patterns in the data to answer the questions
What is relationship between distance from the sun and orbital period?
Students will first make a claim to answer the question then they will add in evidence from their data tables. Finally, for the reasoning, they will read a short passage about Kepler’s laws and use the information to explain why the distance from the sun affects the orbital period.
This activity is aligned to the following NGSS Standards
MS-ESS1-2. Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system.
MS-ESS1-3. Analyze and interpret data to determine scale properties of objects in the solar system.
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