Available Languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish
This unique three-part lesson helps students understand that mass is an inherent property of matter, while weight depends on gravity. Using simple and inexpensive objects, students make mass measurements without the use of gravity, similar to the measurements made aboard the Skylab space mission. The author provides explicit directions for experimental set-up, construction of the inertial balance, background information for teachers, and links to related digital resources.
This item part of an extensive web site, "From Stargazers to Starships", that uses the topics of space exploration and space science to introduce topics in physics and astronomy. Translations in French, Italian and Spanish are available.
Law of Inertia, Newton's First Law, inertia, mass, measurement, skylab
Metadata instance created
March 22, 2008
by Alea Smith
May 29, 2011
by Lyle Barbato
Last Update when Cataloged:
March 24, 2006
AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)
4. The Physical Setting
4D. The Structure of Matter
6-8: 4D/M2. Equal volumes of different materials usually have different masses.
6-8: 4D/M7b. The idea of atoms explains the conservation of matter: If the number of atoms stays the same no matter how the same atoms are rearranged, then their total mass stays the same.
6-8: 4D/M10. A substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.
12. Habits of Mind
12B. Computation and Estimation
3-5: 12B/E3. Judge whether measurements and computations of quantities such as length, weight, or time are reasonable by comparing them to familiar values.
6-8: 12B/M7b. Convert quantities expressed in one unit of measurement into another unit of measurement when necessary to solve a real-world problem.
This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.
Topic: Dynamics: Forces and Motion Unit Title: Newton's First Law & Inertia
This unique lesson helps students understand that inertia is an inherent property of matter, while weight depends on gravity. Using simple and inexpensive objects, students make mass measurements without the use of gravity, similar to the measurements made aboard the Skylab space mission.
%0 Electronic Source %A Stern, David %D March 24, 2006 %T From Stargazers to Starships: Mass - Measuring Mass on a Space Station %V 2015 %N 29 March 2015 %8 March 24, 2006 %9 text/html %U http://www.phy6.org/stargaze/Smass.htm
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