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Planetary Motion

$9.95 - $113.25

Product Highlights

  • Model Kepler’s laws of planetary motion.
  • In addition to earth science, these materials can be used in a high school physics course.
  • High school laboratory investigation with enough materials for 10 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Labs that use phenomena to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.

3 Product Options


Model Kepler’s laws of planetary motion in the classroom. In this series of 6 investigations, students use mathematical and computational thinking to describe the motions of the planets. They investigate ellipses, calculate eccentricity, use data to determine the orbit of a planet, collect evidence about the speed of a planet during its orbit, and calculate centripetal force to further understand planetary motion.

Curriculum Connection
While designed for a stand-alone earth science course, this series of activities could be incorporated into a high school physics course during a lesson on classical mechanics, as Kepler’s work on planetary motion was foundational to Newton’s work.

Time Requirements
This series of activities requires approximately 30 minutes of preparation and will take students approximately one week (195 minutes).

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts
Scale, Proportion, and Quantity

Disciplinary Core Ideas
ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

Science and Engineering Practices
Using Mathematical and Computation Thinking
Developing and Using Models

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Students should be familiar with Newton’s laws of motion, solving algebraic equations, and basic geometric features such as arcs, sectors, chords, circles, and ellipses.




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