The Apple Doesn't Fall Too Far From The Tree - Gravity and Simulation

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Game players bring their own experience of the real world into a game environment while they are playing. Most players understand the concept of gravity and that it makes things drop, changes the speed of an object, and when one object collides with another, something drastic happens, especially if the object has a larger mass. In this is the 1st of four lessons where students will explore the concept of gravity while making a game and/or simulation using Unity 3D.

Introduction

Gravity is important because it is the force the holds everything in the universe together. Although it is the weakest of the four known natural forces, it is the most dominant of those forces. No matter the size of an object, it has a gravitational force that extends through all space. Since the beginning of time, gravity has been present. It pulled atoms together to form the first stars and planets. It pulled the stars together to form galaxies and kept planets in orbit around their stars. 

On our blue planet Earth, gravity keeps people, buildings, air and water from floating into space. It causes the ocean tides and objects to fall to the ground. Despite all the knowledge about what gravity does, no one fully understands how it works or why it exists.

In order to know gravity, one must learn what it is and how it affects us. One person who studied gravity is Sir Isaac Newton (1642 - 1726). Remember the myth of the apple falling from the tree on top of his head? He created some laws that we still live by even to this day. Because of his Laws of Gravity and Motion, we can do all sorts of things with gravity to make any game we create fun! In this lesson, students will learn about gravity and create a Unity project that adds gravity to a 3d object.

Teacher Notes: For these lessons, it is highly recommended that the students be on their own computer, although working in pairs in acceptable. Make sure that the students are switching up on the computer. Also, for these lessons, it is assumed that you have a computer with Unity 2017.3 Personal Edition (https://unity3d.com/) installed on each computer. Unity 3d Pro is available as well. No prior knowledge of Unity 3d is needed; however, the students should be familiar with the Unity 3d Interface.

It is assumed that students know how to use the core basics of the Unity 3D game engine; however, in this lesson, a brief overview of the Unity Interface is provided. 

Lesson #1: The Apple Doesn't Fall Too Far From the Tree

Lesson #2: Law of Gravity and First Law of Motion

Lesson #3: Newtons 2nd 3rd Laws

Lesson #4: Let's Put It All Together

Lesson Times

Lesson Time:
90 Minutes

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Information and Communication Technologies Information and Communication Technologies
    • Games and Simulation
K-12 Subjects
  • Technology Education
Grade Levels
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

Standards and Objectives

Standards

California's 2013 CTE Standards (2)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will be able to accurately define each part of the Unity 3d Interface.
  • Students will be able to add a 3D objects with gravity to their own Unity 3D scene.

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