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 Made your own model satellite  

Lesson 2.2 - Activity: Orbit an Artificial Satellite


  • Construct an artificial satellite from random materials.
  • Demonstrate the principle of an orbit.

Estimated Lesson Time:

One class (1 hour)

Classroom strategies:

Small group, hands-on activity.

Science background Information:

Refer to Lesson 2.1.


Review Lesson 2.1 vocabulary.

Materials and Equipment:

Assorted materials, such as buttons, balls, washers, paperclips, string, fishing line, yarn, etc. (Some thing to swing an object about in the air.)

Advance Preparation:

Gather appropriate materials.


Divide up class into small groups. Divide materials between each group or allow individual groups to choose their own materials. Each group is to create a model of an artificial satellite in orbit.

Follow-up activity: Discuss the results of their experimentation by comparing the different satellites constructed. Re-enforce the concept of revolution, orbit, and artificial "pupil-made" satellite. Note how the differences in mass and the rate of spin affect the system.




Music: Space Cowboy (lassos-link)

7 April 1999
Center for Space Physics
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