The Value of g on Other Planets Interactive is an adjustable-size file that displays nicely on tablets such as the iPad, on Chromebooks, and on laptops and desktops. The size of the Interactive can be re-sized to fit the device that it is displayed on. The compatibility with iPads, other tablets, and Chromebooks make it a perfect tool for use in a 1:1 classroom.  This Interactive does not display very nicely on all phones and we do not recommend its use on many phones.


Teaching Ideas and Suggestions:

This Interactive is intended for use in a unit that discusses the concept of universal gravitation. Learners click on a photo of a planet and view the value of g on that planet. The mass and radius of the planet and one interesting fact about the planet are also stated. While the Interactive could be used as a teacher demonstration, it might be best used as an inquiry activity. Students could be given the following challenge ...
The value of g is 9.8 N/kg on Earth's surface but it is noticeably different on the surface of other planets. Using the Value of g on Other Planets Interactive, collect some data about the value of g on different planets. What seems to be the pattern in the data? Can you determine what variables affect the value of g on different planets? That is, what factors tend to make the value of g larger and what factors tend to make the value of g smallest?  After conducting your investigation, write a claim that responds to these questions. Support your claim with evidence and reasoning.

Related Resources

There are numerous resources at The Physics Classroom website that serve as very complementary supports for the Value of g on Other Planets Interactive. These include:
  • Minds On Physics Internet Modules:
    The Minds On Physics Internet Modules include a collection of interactive questioning modules that help learners assess their understanding of physics concepts and solidify those understandings by answering questions that require higher-order thinking. Assignments CG6 and CG7 of the Circular Motion and Gravitation module provide great complements to this Interactive. They are best used in the middle to later stages of the learning cycle. Visit the Minds On Physics Internet Modules.
  • Curriculum/Practice: Several Concept Development worksheets at the Curriculum Corner will be very useful in assisting students in cultivating their understanding, most notably ...

    Universal Gravitation
    The Inverse Square Law of Universal Gravitation

    Visit the Curriculum Corner.

  • Further Investigations: 
    It is a bit difficult to conduct hands-on investigations on other planets. Nonetheless, The Laboratory section of The Physics Classroom website includes some additional experiences that complement this Interactive. Two notable ideas include ...

    The Great Mass Attraction Simulation
    Satellite Motion Simulation

    Visit The Laboratory.

Additional resources and ideas for incorporating Value of g on Other Planets into an instructional unit on satellite motion and gravitation can be found at the Teacher Toolkits section of The Physics Classroom website.  Visit Teacher Toolkits.

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