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Type of Product
Language Skills Developed
Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
Students will develop self-directed learning and peer assisted learning skills.
The students will be able to explain what the Force of Gravity is. By examining the video material on the youtube site, students make sure that the acceleration of free fall on the planet Earth, in the same latitude, is the same. Its size depends only on the distance between the center of the Earth and the body (the acceleration of free fall varies slightly in different geographical locations).
The aim of the video is to demonstrate the true nature of gravity by conducting the experiment in Nassa‘s space power facility, the wold‘s biggest vacuum chamber. First of all, Galileo‘s experiment with a heavy object and the light one is demonstrated. Both objects are dropped at the same time to see which fell fastest. In this case the feathers fell to the ground at a slower rate than the bowling ball because of air resistance. Then, the air is pumped out of the chamber until there is a near-perfect vacuum inside. When the objects are released, they fall at the same speed.
Isaac Newton would say that the ball and the feather fall because there‘s force puling them down. The reason the bowling ball and feather fall together is because they‘re not falling. They are standing still. There is no force acting on them at all. There‘d be no way of knowing that the ball and the feathers were being accelerated towars the Earth.
Key vocabulary will be introduced (gravity, force of gravity, mass, matter, force of attraction, attractive force, gravitational pull, orbit) and students will practice key vocabulary describing the experiment, asking and answering the questions while working in pairs. Students will improve their writing skills describing the experiment in writing while working individually.
This short video can be used to introduce the topic to lower-secondary school students and to improve their speaking skills.
The video could be used with 14 – 18 years old students whose level of competence in English (CEFR) is A2 and higher.
Strength: The information is presented in an attractive way. The teaching resource is easy to use and understand. The source is reliable and is a perfect additional material teaching about the force of gravity. Scientific reliability: The video is prepared by BBC2 and the experiment is presented by English professor Brian Edward Cox. The experiment takes place in Nasa’s space power facility, the world’s biggest vacuum chamber which is used to test spacecraft in the conditions of outer space. This leaves no doubt that the teaching resource is prepared professionally. Pedagogical value: the teaching material can be used working with mixed-ability students.
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