Lesson Plan

Simulating Microgravity with Buoyancy

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This Simulating Microgravity with Buoyancy lesson plan also includes:

How do astronauts know how to live and work in a weightless environment? It doesn't come naturally! Junior physicists conduct experiments to examine the link between buoyancy and microgravity. Each activity illustrates a different aspect of buoyancy, culminating in a look at how astronauts train in NASA's underwater training facility.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Extend the lesson with the Adjust the Buoyancy of a Nail experiment
  • Incorporate an astronaut underwater training video into the week's activities
Classroom Considerations
  • Consider putting pupils in groups of two or three for the experiments
  • Use the suggested discussions after each activity to check for understanding
  • The  experiments build upon one another to create a strong foundation of buoyancy, force, and density knowledge
  • The teacher's plan includes all printable materials and materials lists for each experiment
  • None