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LESSON PLAN: Exercising in Space

Teacher: J. Louie



1½ - 50 min. periods

Subject / grade level: Math/ Grade 8/ Linear Equations/ Direct Variation
• Internet-connected computer and projector
◦ Train Like an Astronaut:
◦ Exercising in Space:
• Calculators (optional)
• Student handouts:
◦ Exercising in Space
◦ Anticipation Guide – Vocabulary list
CA CCSS Standards
EE7b Solve linear equations with rational number coefficients.
F4 Determine the rate of change and initial value of the function from a description of a relationship or from two (x, y)
values, including reading these from a table. Interpret the rate of change and initial value of a linear function in
terms of the situation it models, and in terms of its table of values.
Dimension 1: Practices
Use math as a scientist would.
Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts: Pattern, Scale, proportionality, and quantity
Science & Engineering Practices: Analyzing and interpreting data, Using mathematics and computational thinking
Lesson objective(s):

This lesson is an applied review of concepts from several lessons.

Use the slope formula to calculate slope from two points
Identify direct variation from ordered pairs by calculating the constant of variation
Identify independent and dependent variables
Solve linear equations
Interpret slope and individual coordinates in a physical context

Differentiation strategies to meet diverse learner needs

Anticipation-Vocabulary guide: explanations of acronyms may be provided
Structured Outlines for note-taking: vocabulary, relevant formulas, scaffolded problem #1-2

Day 1 (15 mins.)
• Show Train Like an Astronaut video (2:15)
• Distribute student anticipation guide. Explain how it helps us think about what we already know before reading.
• Read the first statement aloud. Allow students time to respond to each statement, use the BEFORE column to
mark whether they agree or disagree. Inform them that this is just their own opinion based on what they know
now, and that they may change their minds later.
• Ask students to explain why they agree or disagree.
• Distribute HW assignment (Exercising in Space pp. 1-2).

Instructions: Make notes on each vocabulary acronym or term on the bottom. As you read the article, your
opinions may be confirmed or you may change your mind. Mark the AFTER column with your final opinion (even
if it is the same); do not change anything in the BEFORE column. Then write the paragraph numbers where you
found evidence and tell why your final opinion is correct.

Day 2 (15 mins.)
• This lesson is about Exercising in Space. What do you think of when I say that?
• Instructions for revisiting the anticipation guide: Compare your AFTER responses with a partner. If you have
different answers, can you convince your partner to change his/her mind?.
• If needed, elaborate on the vocabulary word roots: counter (against) + measure (action)
• Show Exercising in Space video (8:15, may be shortened)
• Discussion:
◦ How does gravity affect a person exercising on Earth?
We work against gravity to stand up and move.
◦ Why do astronauts need to exercise in space?
Muscles and bones deteriorate without work.
◦ Does everyone do the exact same exercises?
The load and time are adjusted to each person.
◦ What is different about exercising in reduced gravity?
(answers may vary)
• Transition Questions:
◦ What is ISS? What is CEVIS?
Intl. Space Station, exercise bike on the station
◦ Does everything always work correctly on the Space Station? No! Engineers give astronauts work-arounds.
EXPLORATION (10 mins.)

Distribute handout: Exercising in Space/CEVIS Space Bike (pp. 3-4)
Guide class through the situation description.
Student read aloud
If the exercise computer breaks down, the astronauts have to adjust the voltage to change the load on the bike.

Guide class discussion of questions #1-2


(1) Both Voltage and Power are increasing, but they are changing by different amounts, so you cannot find
a relationship just by looking at the data. For every V, there is exactly one P, so the data represents a function.
(2) Voltage is the input (what the astronaut controls), so it is the independent variable. Power depends on
voltage, so it is the dependent variable.
So if we graphed this, how would we label the horizontal axis?
V (voltage)
We do not need to graph it to find a relationship that will tell what voltage to set for any power we want (even if it
is not on the table). That is what you're going to do next.
EXPLANATION (20 mins.)

Students work on #3-8 in groups of 3. Encourage discussion so that all agree on solutions.
◦ (3) Determine whether the function represents direct variation
Use k = y/x
◦ (4) Explain how you know the function is linear
constant rate of change
◦ (5) Use the slope formula
k = 41.7 watts/volt
◦ (6) Slope = constant of variation
◦ (7) Write the equation that models the data
P = 41.7V
◦ (8) Use the equation to find V when P = 150
V = 3.6 volts
Share answers in whole class discussion. Then discuss:

◦ If you lost this voltage table, how could you set the exercise machine for your workout?
◦ If you carelessly tore the paper with the table on it and only had 4 rows left, could you find the equation?
◦ If you carelessly tore the paper (again) and had only 2 rows left, could you find the equation?
ELABORATION (5 mins.) –- assign as HW

Students work on #9-14 independently (handout p. 5).
◦ Determine whether the table represents direct variation
◦ Find the slope and explain what it represents in this context (including units)
◦ Write the equation that models the data
◦ Use the equation to find V when S = 105 rpm
◦ Find rate of change when increments are described narratively
◦ Use the new k to find V when the speed is 62

Use k = y/x
m = 15 rpm/volt
S = 15V
V = 7 volts
k= 24/1.3 = 18.5
V = 3.4 volts

• End of week quiz includes: #15-17 (handout p. 6)
• Unit Test includes similar items in a different context (ex: Voltage setting for model train speed)

Student Resources: Articles for Further Reading

Exercise in Space: Use It or Lose It

How do Astronauts Exercise in Space?,2817,2422096,00.asp

NASA ForceShoes: Ugly sandals measure space exercise