Form a small team comprised of children and adults, design a robot, solve the challenge, and be part of the Google Lunar X PRIZE race to the Moon with LEGO® MINDSTORMS®
Target Age Group
Students will understand the difference in gravity and weight on the Earth and Moon
You will need
2 suitcases or other containers of the same size and weight, unsuspecting friends, scale, 35 lbs.(15.9 kg) of paper or books
What to do
1. At school, you can probably find 35 lbs.(15.9 kg) of paper – that’s 7 packs of 500 sheets of copier paper – or you could collect it from all the recycling bins. At home you might not have that much paper lying around, so use your scale to weigh books – telephone books work very well – to come up with one pile that weighs 5 lbs. and one that weighs 30 lbs.
2. Before you gather your friends around, fill one suitcase with 5 lbs. of paper and the other with 30 lbs. Now, say to your friends, “These two suitcases are identical in every
way except, and this part is important, one is on the Earth and the other one on the Moon. Do you think you’re strong enough to lift them?”
3. Now that you have their attention, find some people who would like to try lifting the suitcases. Without saying so, try to have them pick up the heavy suitcase first. Give them lots of applause.
4. After they have lifted the suitcases, explain that these two suitcases are identical in every way except, and this part is important, one is on the Earth and the other one on the Moon. Can they guess which suitcase is which? Why do you think they are so different?
What's Going On?
The force of gravity is six times stronger on the Earth than on the Moon. Now that you’ve experimented with the difference in Earth and Moon gravity, you can figure out what would your weight be on the Moon. If the Earth suitcase is six times heavier than the Moon suitcase, what would the difference be in your own weight? After you’ve figured that out, with a little more research you can find out how much a space suit weighs on Earth and on the Moon.
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