This week we began our yearly solar system unit, and this year we are focusing on the moon.
We began our day reading books together about the moon and recording facts that we learned. The most surprising to my kids was that sound waves don’t travel on the moon. This is because there is no air for them to travel through. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon, the rocket didn’t make even a whisper when it touched down on the rock!
Also, like all kids, mine loved to think about the feeling of weightlessness in outer space and imagine what that would be like. “If You Decide to Go to the Moon,” by Faith McNulty, was a great book for exploring this concept, and uses many examples.
In the book, it is stated that if you were to jump on the moon, you would jump about five times as far.
I found this fact questionable, so we took to the internet to confirm or bust. I have also seen six times in other books and that was based on the fact that the moon has 1/6 the gravity of Earth so you would jump 6 times as high. That is not believable to me, but distance also needs to figure in thrust which is depends on mass, and since mass depends solely on gravity…well, you see the rabbit hole we were going down.
Since my kids are 10, 8, and 4, I decided that I would just go ahead and assume the author has done her math and go with 5 times for the sake of having some fun.
So we decide to find out how far we could jump if we were on the moon. We started by each doing a standing long jump and measuring the distance, in inches.
Next, we multiplied our distances by five, then marked and measures our new moon jumps to truly grasp the awesomeness.
To continue our moon unit we will be exploring gravity some more, as well as calendars, clocks, and other time-keeping devices through the ages.