Unit E: Space

Big Idea: Understanding Earth’s place in space is the first step towards a future of space exploration

Topic #1: Space Motion

Learning Goal #14: I can model the forces acting on an object in circular motion.

Guiding Questions:

  1. What is an orbit?
  2. What is the difference between rotation and revolution?
  3. What forces cause an object to move in a circle?
  4. What characteristics affect the strength of gravitational force?

Topic #2: Sun-Earth-Moon System

Learning Goal #15: I can predict the patterns of movement for Earth, the moon, and the sun.

Guiding Questions:

  1. Why does the moon change phases, and is it predictable?
  2. Why do lunar eclipses happen?
  3. Why do solar eclipses happen?
  4. Why are there different seasons and climates?

Topic #3: Scale of the Solar System

Learning Goal #16: I can analyze statistical data to compare and contrast objects in our solar system.

Guiding Questions:

  1. How big is the solar system?
  2. What kinds of objects are found in our solar system?
  3. How do we measure and represent very large distances and sizes?
  4. Compare and contrast the inner and outer planets.
    1. What features do the inner planets share?
    2. What features do the outer planets share?
  5. Where does Pluto belong in this classification system?

Topic #4: Galaxies and the Universe

Learning Goal #17: I can ask thoughtful questions about galaxies and our universe.

Guiding Questions:

  1. What is a galaxy?
  2. What are the main shapes of galaxies?
  3. What is a black hole?
  4. Why do we know so little about black holes?
  5. What is Earth’s place in the universe?

Bonus Topic: Space Life?