What Goes Up, Must Come Down

Child trying to catch a ball that was tossed up in the air.

Many kids play kickball at recess. When the ball comes to them, they kick it as hard as they can into the air. Even though they kick the ball hard, it comes back to the ground. The ball does not stay up in the air. Why? There is an invisible force pulling everything, including us, toward the center of Earth. That force is called gravity. Earth’s gravity is what keeps us on the ground and what makes things fall.

The planets stay in orbit around the Sun because of gravity.

Understanding gravity helped to explain a lot. Gravity is what holds the planets in orbit around the Sun. It also keeps the moon in orbit around Earth.

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the first scientists to study gravity. One day, an apple fell from an apple tree he was sitting under and hit him on the head. Newton experimented with other objects by tossing them in the air to see what would happen. He discovered that everything that went up, also came back down. Gravity acts like a magnet in the center of the Earth. When we jump up, gravity pulls us back down to the ground. Earth’s gravity prevents us from floating away. It keeps everything you see anchored to our planet.

What Do Can You Do?    Have you ever tried to climb up a slide? What makes you slip and go back down? Think of some other anti-gravity activities to try!

Photo Credit: (t)ZouZou/Shutterstock, (b)Vadim Sadovski/Shutterstock