Gravity and Orbits

SciPackDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.

SciPacks are self-directed online learning experiences for teachers to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept and its related pedagogical implications for student learning. Unlimited expert content help via email and a final assessment both facilitate and document teacher learning.

The Gravity and Orbits SciPack, co-developed between NASA and NSTA, explores concepts related to Earth’s universal gravitation and how gravity affects the universe around us. The focus is on Standards and Benchmarks related to universal gravitation including variables that influence the amount of gravitational force and how gravity governs the motion of the solar system.

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Reviews (19)
  • on Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:46 PM

I enjoyed this scipack. The NSTA presented a variety of topics in gravity and orbits in a clear manner. The topics were not too far in depth, but were a perfect review prior to teaching the subjects in my classroom

Steve  (St. Johns, FL)
Steve (St. Johns, FL)

  • on Wed Aug 27, 2014 12:30 PM

The structure of the SciPacks really help me understand the underlying concepts that surround each topic. I had a lot of fear of science before learning about the NSTA Learning Center, and Initially, I was unsure of how well I'd grasp scientific concepts in a self-paced, online format. However, the carefully sequenced topics, interactive activities and simulations, in addition to the voice-over explanations work well together to help deepen my understanding in the content area. Especially valuable are the pedagogical implications and common student misconceptions. I feel a lot more knowledgeable about a subject after using a SciPack, and I highly recommend the Gravity and Orbits SciPack to anyone needing to learn more about this topic.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:33 PM

This was explained very thoroughly and clearly. I think the videos would be beneficial for students and would create wonderful classroom conversation.

Jackie Dielmann  (Austin, TX)
Jackie Dielmann (Austin, TX)

  • on Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:05 PM

Gravity can be tough to teach and for students to think about in terms of its complexity. This SciPack provides great examples and explanations that can be used to help students learn the concepts.

Susan German  (Hallsville, MO)
Susan German (Hallsville, MO)

  • on Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:35 AM

Although I failed the scipack, I find that the scipacks can be very beneficial in learning. The scipacks are available for teachers to refresh their minds on a subject. I did the activities and it seemed to help me. The more I thought about a question, I second guessed myself. In the scipack it stated that learning about gravity and orbits are even difficult for college students. I do not find this information surprising. By the end of the scipack, I had my self very confused. I don't think this is the case for every scipack. I think the scipacks can be very helpful for a teacher wanting to refresh their minds on the content. I believe I just confused myself.

Samantha Looper
Samantha Looper

  • on Mon Jan 30, 2017 12:52 PM

This packet was great! I would only ask that they make the information a little more enjoyable since it takes so long to complete it. Through in some jokes to split up the information more so. I found this very informative and easy to understand. The quizzes really test your knowledge to ensure comprehension of the material.

Kasey Vaughn
Kasey Vaughn

  • on Wed Oct 19, 2016 5:31 PM

This SciPack had so much information! Going throughout this SciPack really helped develop my knowledge for forces, gravity, and much more. I did find parts of the content difficult to understand such as the graphs but it did help me widen my knowledge. I would highly suggest this to anyone who is needed to learn more about this content area because it truly does the job. I actually liked the feature of the final assessment where it showed the aspects you were strong in and the aspects you were weak in therefore you could go back and review. Very neat!

Rebecca Fink
Rebecca Fink

  • on Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:37 AM

This gravity & orbits sci pack was very informational with several relevant examples & practical applications. It was lengthy but increased my understanding of the key concepts.

Devlin Marcum
Devlin Marcum

  • on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:29 PM

Nice alignment with grades 4 and 5

Marty Erskine
Marty Erskine

  • on Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:57 PM

Earth and Space sciences are my weakest content areas, so I really found this SciPack very enjoyable. If you have a good foundation in these areas, you might find it too basic, but it covers all the basic concepts quite well. It would be a good refresher as well.

Rebecca F  (Elizabeth, WV)
Rebecca F (Elizabeth, WV)

  • on Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:35 AM

The Gravity and Orbits SciPack was a great way for me to review the college level Physics class that I took nearly 12 years ago. Although I teach grade 5, this SciPack provided me with content knowledge at all grade levels. This isv aluable because it helped me understand the scope and sequence of gravity and orbits standards which in effect gives me a better idea of what students are supposed to know by grade 5, what I can review, and where I need to guide them in their knowledge of the solar system. I like that I now know how to scaffold UP, and really challenge the really bright students in my class.

Joy Agard
Joy Agard

  • on Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:54 PM

....but I DID it ! And the feeling of nailing it down is sooo comforting ! My problem was, though, some questions from the final assessment couldn't be answered by watching / reading the materials presented in the pack only.

Michael Petrescu  (Stamford, CT)
Michael Petrescu (Stamford, CT)

  • on Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:17 PM

Very challenging. Although presented concisely with multiple opportunities for educators/viewers to check their understanding of the concepts presented, as a middle school science educator who teaches Astronomy only four weeks out of a school year, this resource was overwhelming. Ithe videos helped to convey the topics, and the graphics were very beneficial. This resource focused more on physics than I expected. Overall, it was very informative.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:08 AM

This class was extemely challenging. I felt this leacture along with the sci pack was geared more towards high school level. Some of the mathematical equations were way out of my middle schoolers range. Also, The lecture didnt neccesarily correspond to the sci pack itself. When I took the final assessment, several topics were not covered in the lecture. I learned a lot. But if you are middle school teacher, best bet is to try another seminar..

Brian Butera  (Fairfield, CT)
Brian Butera (Fairfield, CT)

  • on Sat Jan 29, 2011 10:09 PM

This was a very challenging scipack for me. It made we work extrememly hard to obtain success with the final assessment!!!

Nikki T
Nikki T

  • on Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:24 AM

This sciPak taught concepts related to Earth’s gravitational pull and how it affects the universe around us. The lesson about the amount of gravitational force and how gravity governs the motion of the solar system was given at a much higher level than what 've seen taught for 5th graders. I feel a lot of background knowledge needs to be introduced before attempting this with students. I really enjoyed the graphics and video portion.

Kim Rivera  (Midlothian, TX)
Kim Rivera (Midlothian, TX)

  • on Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:28 PM

The scipack was interesting and taught me many things I did not know previously. Lots of information!

Kristen Brymer
Kristen Brymer

  • on Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:56 AM

For this SciPack, I found it very helpful with refreshing my knowledge of the subject area. I did find the wording to be a bit difficult to understand, but it did help with understanding my background knowledge of it. I would recommend this to anyone willing to take the time to complete this. I would also recommend it to anyone who may need to go more in depth of the subject area. However if you do not have any prior knowledge, I would not recommend this. If I had no prior knowledge, I would not have been able to complete or understand this.

Amber C
Amber C

  • on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:12 AM

I was listening to the audio portion of the Gravity and Orbits SciPack and when I clicked on Figure 5.6 Interactive Video of Gravity Everywhere Bringing it All Together, it about drove me out of my chair. The volume on the interactive exercise is off the scale loud compared to the normal audio volume. Just wanted to let you know ahead of time.

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

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$17.99 - Nonmembers

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