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In this activity, students use mathematics to understand tides and gravitation and how gravity works across astronomical distances, using an apparatus made from a slinky, meter stick, and a hook. A description of the mathematical relationships seen... (View More) in the demonstration is included. The resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

In this activity, students compute the strengths of the gravitational forces exerted on the Moon by the Sun and by the Earth, and demonstrate the actual shape of the Moon's orbit around the Sun. The lesson begins with students' assumptions about the... (View More) motions of the Moon about the Earth and the Earth about the Sun, and then test their understanding using an experimental apparatus made from a cardboard or plywood disk and rope. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)

This lesson addresses the common student misconception that the Earth is closer to the Sun during the summer in the Northern Hemisphere. This lesson encourages students to voice this misconception at the beginning of the lesson and then attempts to... (View More) correct it-first, by exploring the reason for it, and then by presenting an alternate explanation. Materials needed for the demonstration include a small globe and a desk lamp for each group of students, a large ball, and overhead transparency. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)