Applied Science - Built Environment (6)

  • Predicting how certain toys react in space.
  • Observing toys in space.


  • gravity
  • microgravity
  • zero gravity
  • glider
  • paddle ball
  • slinky
  • jacks
  • magnetic marbles
  • wind up toy (walking version)
  • pull back car
  • gyroscope
  • top
  • space wheel
  • juggling set of 3 balls

Students predict how toys would react in space.


The universal law of gravitation states that every object in the universe is attracted to every other object in the universe. Everything pulls on everything else, and in a beautifully simple way that involves only mass and distance. Newton stated that every body attracts every other body with a force which for any two bodies is proportional to the mass of each body which decreases proportionately to the mass of each body which decreases proportionately as the square of the distance between them.


  1. In this lab the students will look at different toys. First they will explain how they work or describe their motion by going to the different stations. Then they will predict what would happen in an environment that has no gravity. They will record their answer on the lab sheet.
  2. After they fill in their lab sheet have them observe how toys react in space. On the tape there are several toys that are not included in the module. You can skip those portions, or if you have the toy you might want to add it. The entire tape is 61 minutes, so fast forward to see how the toys will react.
  3. Below are highlights of the video tape.
  1. glider - does not fall down, however cannot fly backwards, bounces back;
  2. paddleboard -easier to use;
  3. slinky - cannot "walk", doesn't sag in middle when extended, still has spring motion;
  4. jacks - bounced ball continues, jacks go all over the place;
  5. juggling - doesn't work;
  6. magnetic marble - can see the force of magnetism give motion, marbles swing around;
  7. wind up toy - needs to have base to flip, then continues;
  8. gyroscope - keeps its stability of spin, entire gyroscope spins;
  9. top - difficult to spin, but similar to gyroscope;
  10. space wheel - must use centripetal force to start motion;
  11. yo-yo - cannot sleep;
  12. car (wind up) -can only move if put on a track, stops motion when energy ends.

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