Students will perform a simple lab involving the use of a spring scale and various masses to determine the strength of the gravitational field strength at the surface of the earth (9.8N/Kg). The influence of varying mass on the strength of gravitational forces is explored as one step toward the ultimate goal of constructing Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation. Follow up activities will provide the opportunity to explore the exact influence of distance on gravitational forces and to calculate the value of the Gravitational Constant, G.


  • Science > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 6
  • Grade 7
  • Grade 8
  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10


gravitation earths surface inverse square Cavendish orbit Newton laws



Access Privileges:

Public - Available to anyone

License Deed:

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
Update Standards?

SCI.8.4.A: Science

use appropriate tools to collect, record, and analyze information, including lab journals/notebooks, beakers, meter sticks, graduated cylinders, anemometers, psychrometers, hot plates, test tubes, spring scales, balances, microscopes, thermometers, calculators, computers, spectroscopes, timing devices, and other equipment as needed to teach the curriculum; and

SCI.9-12.5.B: Science

describe and calculate how the magnitude of the gravitational force between two objects depends on their masses and the distance between their centers;
Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 3, as of 2016-08-01.

Component Ratings:

Standards Alignment: 3
Subject Matter: 3
Support Steaching: 3
Assessments Quality: 3
Deeper Learning: 3

Not Rated Yet.

Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467