The activities in this unit on ‘Gravity’ link to the Primary Science Curriculum for Fifth and Sixth classes. With regard to ‘Content’ it comes under the heading ‘Energy and Forces’ and it builds on some of the experience which children have had of ‘Forces’ in the younger classes – pushing and pulling, magnets, etc.
The topic of ‘Gravity’ is very suitable for the virtual environment, because there are a limited number of ‘hands-on’ activities which can be done in the classroom. Dropping things of different weights can easily be done, but the issue of Air Resistance also has to be taken into account. In the virtual environment it is very useful to be able to drop things in a vacuum and weigh things on the Moon!
To some extent the topic of telecommunications is beyond the scope of primary science. On the other hand primary science is related to children’s everyday lives, and many children watch television and use mobile phones, whose signals are often reflected off satellites. They also hear a good deal about space travel and are usually fascinated by it, so it seemed appropriate to include it in this unit also.