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    In this activity, students use a simple true or false interactive tool to categorise facts. This activity could be used as a formative activity to gather students prior knowledge and understanding. Use it as an opportunity to engage in discussion with your students and to highlight common alternative conceptions about gravity and satellites. A paper-based version is included in the download.

    By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

    • clarify some of their current thinking about gravity and satellites
    • provide evidence to support their current views
    • debate ideas with others who hold different views that may challenge their current thinking
    • investigate some key concepts around gravity and satellite orbits.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • extension ideas
    • student handout
    • sample answers.

    Related content

    The teacher resource Alternative conceptions about gravity resource highlights some of the more common misunderstandings students may hold about gravity and space.

    Explore some of the science ideas and concepts behind gravity and satellite motion.

    For additional background information, see the articles Artificial satellites and Natural satellites.

    Useful link

    Common alternative conceptions about gravity and further strategies for teaching about gravity are covered in this resource from the Department of Education and Training, Victoria State Government, Australia.

      Published 27 March 2013, Updated 26 June 2020 Referencing Hub articles