NASA Physics for Real Beginners: Earth, Moon, and Space

Target Grade(s): 4-9


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Gain an introduction to physics in this conceptual course that uses NASA’s space initiatives as the context for content. Learn about gravitation between celestial bodies, how to get a satellite into orbit, what it takes to blast off into space, and more. This course will discuss these and related topics while exploring NASA content related to space and the Hubble Space Telescope and Kepler Missions. Bring cutting-edge examples to your classroom while addressing Next Generation Science Standards performance expectations.

Standards-based topic areas include:

Physical Science:

Gravitational fields; Gravitational force; Planetary motion; Kepler's laws; Circular motion; Centripetal force; Action-reaction forces

Science Process Skills:

Making and Testing Hypotheses; Abstraction and symbolic representation; Deductive and inductive reasoning; Critical thinking; Use of Information technology; Image Interpretation; Forming Conclusions; Using Models; Measurement

LIVE Online Sessions:

Session 1: Topics: Earth's gravity; Properties of gravitational fields; Microgravity
Session 2: Topics: Universal gravitation; Kepler's Laws
Session 3: Topics: Circular motion; Centripetal force; Orbits and satellites
Session 4: Topics: Newton's Third Law; "Escaping" gravitation

Additional Study:

After the live sessions, participants select from a variety of assignments in order to complete the necessary hours to earn credit for the course. Assignment choices include:

  • Develop a Webquest for your students about a course topic.
  • Create a portfolio showcasing work you have done with students related to course materials.
  • Develop a unit plan using resources from the course.
  • Create a presentation for your students explaining course concepts.

Participants Receive:

  • Refresher or intro to physical science concepts
  • Web page with ready-to-use classroom applications from NASA