Explore Alliance Presents: How Do You Know? – Episode #3: Proving the Heliocentric Theory Correct

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Dr. Barth elaborates on one of the persistent problems with standards-based STEM curriculum is the emphasis upon the Learn, Believe, Repeat methodology that trains students to pass multiple choice tests rather than to think scientifically and participate in discovery oriented activities.

After developing his telescope, Galileo chose three objects for his first investigations: the Moon, Jupiter, and Venus. The Moon proved to be a rugged place, full of mountains, craters with their rays, and large dark seas of frozen lava. Jupiter was a beautiful world with colorful cloud bands and four brilliant moons of its own.

This activity will allow us to recreate the observations of Galileo using ping-pong balls as planetary models and prove that Galileo and Copernicus were right about the sun-centered theory of the solar system. You will also notice that we refer only to the planets known to Galileo in this activity; Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and of course, Earth.