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Pitch, Roll and Yaw: The Three Axes of Rotation

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Pitch, Roll and Yaw: The Three Axes of Rotation

In this activity (page 87 of the PDF), learners move their bodies to better understand the three axes of rotation: pitch, roll and yaw. This exercise will help learners understand how the visual and vestibular systems work with the hippocampus to determine location and direction. This activity can be conducted outdoors or in a large area such as a hallway. The lesson guide, part of NASA's "The Brain in Space: A Teacher's Guide with Activities for Neuroscience," includes background information about axes of rotation and head direction cells.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model



  • Life Sciences
    • Cells
      • Cell Structure and Function
    • Human Body
      • The Brain and Nervous System
      • Muscles and Skin
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
      • Rotation Motion

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity
  • Sports and Exercise


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • be mobile

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • MacLeish, Marlene Y.; McLean, Bernice R.


  • Public Domain, NASA,


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