The Magic School Bus Gains Weight
Field Trip Notes
Guess who's selected to give an exhibition of a slam dunk during half-time of the big basketball game--Phoebe! The problem is, Phoebe can't jump high enough. 'If only gravity didn't pull on me!' she moans. Never one to be tied down, Ms. Frizzle sends them into space and turns the bus into a planet - with adjustable gravity! Basketball's a snap with low gravity, and a riot with no gravity at all. But when they end up with way too much gravity, things get really heavy!
What a Downer
Time: 20 minutes
Group Size: 4
Phoebe and her classmates find out that gravity pulls everything down. Your kids test whether gravity makes heavier things fall faster than lighter ones.
What You Need
For Each Class
For Each Group
Talk About It
Hold up the string with the pencil suspended. Ask a volunteer to cut the string. Ask: What happened? Why did the pencil fall?
What To Do
If one kid throws a ball straight out, horizontal to the ground, and another drops a ball at the same time from the same height, will the balls hit the ground at the same time? (Yes. One may travel farther, but gravity pulls down on each equally, and they both fall at the same speed.) Ask: Is this difficult to judge with our senses? What could we use to improve our judgment?
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