Possible Standard Alignment
I can compare the speeds of objects that travel the same distance in different amounts of time. 3.P.1
I can infere changes in speed or direction resulting from forces acting on an object. 3.P.1.1
I can explain the effects of earth's gravity on the motion of any object. 3.P.1.3
Courageous Astronauts explore space.
On the Moon
The lunar module landed the astonaut safely on the moon.
Engineers design rockets to launch spacecrafts.
What do Astronauts Do? What Dangers do they face?
Answer these questions in your journal:
What problems do engineers face when they design a landing pod?
Potential and kinetic energy—When the lander hits the surface, its motion (kinetic) energy is changed into stored (potential) energy, which gets stored in the shock absorbers.
Acceleration due to gravity—Lander accelerates (speeds up) as it falls due to the Earth’s gravitational pull.
Air resistance—Air exerts a force on the lander as it falls, slowing it down.
Measurement—Kids measure the various heights from which they drop the lander.
Misconceptions: Students may have difficulty recognizing the lack of air resistance on the Moon due to the lack of an atmosphere. It is important to compare the Earth and Moon to allow students to research how they might modify their designs for use on the Moon or even other planets like Mars to account for different atmospheric conditions.
Challenge: Imagine and Plan/Design a Landing Pod that will descend 8 feet and safely land two marshmallow astronauts on the floor.
Materials You Will Have Available
1 piece of stiff paper or cardboard (approximately 4 by 5 inches (10 by 13 cm)
1 small paper or plastic cup
3 index cards (3 by 5 inches (8 by 13 cm)
2 regular-size marshmallows astronauts
10 Cotton Balls
3 rubber bands
8 plastic straws
Use As Many or Few Materials as you like