The Great Gravity Escape

The Great Gravity Escape
Publication Date: January, 2004
Type of Resource: Practical activity/investigation

This online resource provides a lesson plan for a lesson investigating the effect of gravity between two objects as well as exploring the concept of escape velocity.

Students will be able to see that when the velocity of a spacecraft becomes too great for gravity to hold it in orbit, it will escape orbit and travel away from the planet.

The site includes worksheets that allow students to record their results and answer questions.

Plenty of background information is also provided for teachers so as to make this a very thorough lesson. Answers to questions posed to students are given throughout the lesson plan in brackets. Ideas for assessment and extension are also included. 

Additional Information

The site is American and American spellings and measurement units (with metric conversions) are given. You may wish to modify the worksheet to include distances in metres.

Australian Curriculum:
  • Year 7 > Science Inquiry Skills > Communicating > Communicate ideas, findings and evidence-based solutions to problems using... > ACSIS133
  • Year 7 > Science Inquiry Skills > Processing and analysing data and information > Summarise data, from students’ own investigations and secondary sources, and... > ACSIS130
  • Year 7 > Science Understanding > Physical Sciences > Change to an object’s motion is caused by unbalanced forces, including Earth's... > ACSSU117
  • Year 7 > Science as a Human Endeavour > Nature and development of science > Scientific knowledge has changed people's understanding of the world and is... > ACSHE119
  • Year 7 > Science as a Human Endeavour > Use and influence of science > People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have... > ACSHE121