# Soda Can Gravity: Exploring Gravitational Differences in Our Solar System

Subject
Resource Type
File Type

PDF

(777 KB|7 pages)
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Standards
NGSSMS-ESS1-2
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1. This bundle of 12 lab and activity resources are my most popular hands-on lessons. They are easy to setup and all materials can easily be obtained from any hardware or big box store.Earth Science Topics:GravityEarth's Magnetic FieldLongitudinal and Transverse WavesGeologic TimeAge of EarthPlate Tect
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In this exploration activity, the teacher puts together 10 cans of soda that have a different mass, based on the gravitational force of each planet and our moon. The cans take a little bit of time to put together, but I have reused my set for 10 years with no issues, so the initial time has been worth it.

Students find the mass of each can and look for patterns between the mass of the cans and each planet's diameter and density. The purpose is to help students learn the factors that affect gravitational force.

My students especially love feeling how light a can of soda would be if it were on Pluto or our moon. They are always in awe of how heavy the Jupiter can is.

This label requires digital scales or triple beam balances. Sand can be used to fill the cans, instead of pennies. Just measure the appropriate mass and use a funnel.

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NGSSMS-ESS1-2
Develop and use a model to describe the role of gravity in the motions within galaxies and the solar system. Emphasis for the model is on gravity as the force that holds together the solar system and Milky Way galaxy and controls orbital motions within them. Examples of models can be physical (such as the analogy of distance along a football field or computer visualizations of elliptical orbits) or conceptual (such as mathematical proportions relative to the size of familiar objects such as students’ school or state). Assessment does not include Kepler’s Laws of orbital motion or the apparent retrograde motion of the planets as viewed from Earth.
Total Pages
7 pages
Included
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
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