Man On The Moon! Grades 11-12


Cameron Pittman, Teacher

School / Organization, City and State / Province
Stratford STEM Magnet High School, Nashville, TN

Grade Level

Standards Met
Physics Standards:
Conservation of Energy, Projectile Motion, Free Fall, Gravity.

Next Generation Science Standards:
HS.PS-FM Forces and Motion, performance standard (a) Plan and carry out investigations to show that the algebraic formulation of Newton’s second law of motion accurately predicts the relationship between the net force on macroscopic objects, their mass, and acceleration and the resulting change in motion.
HS.PS-E Energy, performance standard (a) Construct and defend models and mathematical representations that show that over time the total energy within an isolated system is constant, including the motion and interactions of matter and radiation within the system.
Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking, Constructing explanations and designing solutions, Developing and using models.

Standards: Met

  • Interpretation of Data – Compare or combine data from a simple data presentation (20-23)
  • Scientific Investigation – Predict the results of an additional trial or measurement in an experiment (24-27)

Time Needed
60 minutes.


  • Students will recognize that mass has no effect on a falling object’s velocity (ignoring friction)

This is a simple lab where students will be testing the effects of friction on falling objects. Students will demonstrate that friction, not mass, will slow objects in free fall. Students will derive the equation for the speed of an object in free fall using conservation of energy and show that mass is not a factor.


  • Friction
  • Gravity
  • Mass
  • Free Fall
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Kinetic Energy
  • Potential Energy

Student Prerequisites

  • Mass
  • Friction
  • Gravity
  • Conservation of Energy.

Teacher Materials Needed

Student Materials Needed

  • Hammers (or similarly heavy and dense object)
  • Scrap Paper
  • Feathers
  • Pennies

Lesson Plan
Download Portal Man On The Moon