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Weighty Questions

In this activity about humans and space travel (page 1 of PDF), learners compare and contrast the behavior of a water-filled plastic bag, both outside and inside of a container of water. This activity will help learners understand the differences between environments with gravity and environments with reduced gravity. This guide includes background information, extensions, and a data sheet.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Experiment/Lab Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • water
  • snack-size plastic zip-top bag
  • food coloring
  • clear container with straight sides that holds at least 1 liter of water, or a glass aquarium in a central location
  • paper towels
  • copy of the "The Shape of Things" sheet


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Aerospace Engineering
  • Life Sciences
    • Human Body
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • Physical Sciences
    • Motion and Forces
      • Gravity
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Mass and Weight
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, Baylor College of Medicine, ©2000

Funding Source:

  • NASA, NCC9-58