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Activity 1: Center of Gravity

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • A flying disk - a Frisbee(TM), or an unbreakable plate

Preparation for Activity

  • Clear a large table or (uncarpeted) floor space for participants to assemble in a circle.

Description of Activity

Gather participants in a circle. Explain that science helps us understand our world by making observations and asking questions.

Spin the disk or plate on its rim. Have participants work together to keep it spinning. Let a few participants keep it spinning. Then, ask the children to let the disk spin on its own. When if falls flat, process with these questions:

  • What made the disk stop spinning? (Suggest "gravity" if the group does not guess it.)
  • Is gravity magical? Is it a science?
  • Can the plate stand on its own without spinning?
  • What else does gravity do in our world? (Suggest fruit falling from trees, objects stay put when placed on the ground, when we jump up we will come down.)
  • What if there was no gravity?
  • Did you learn anything new?

Conclude by saying something like:

Observing our world and asking questions about things that happen help people understand the world around them. Some are questions that science can answer and some are questions that religions try to answer. How does gravity work? That is a question science can answer. Why is there gravity? That's a question religion wonders about, and we may never have a definite answer.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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