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Sid the Science Kid: Gravity and Weightlessness

Sid and his friends learn how gravity keeps us all from floating away.
Sid can’t believe his eyes! At breakfast, his pancake looks smaller than Zeke’s, but they’re the same size! How can this be? It’s an optical illusion! Mom and Dad explain that sometimes your eyes and your brain play tricks on you and things aren’t always what they appear to be. But there’s something that causes Sid’s pancake to look smaller, like being on a larger plate than Zeke’s. Join Sid as he learns about different types of optical illusions, then see if you can find optical illusions around you.
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Enjoy our collection of fun science stories for kids. With favorites like Sid the Science Kid and Hayley Rides into Space, you're sure to find stories your child will love.
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Hey, you're a scientist, like me! Come discover with Sid the Science Kid. Hey, everybody! We're gonna try something great! We're gonna do an experiment where we throw a ball all the way up into the clouds. Awesome! Yay! “Hey, well, I'm the strongest, so I'll throw the ball. Let's go!“ “Okay!“ “Are you ready, Gabriela? We all want you to throw the ball so high it never comes back! Ready? Set . . .“ “Whoa!“ “There it goes! Goodbye forever, ball!“ “Oooh, it's coming back down!“ “Uh-oh!“ “Aw, but Gabriela threw it so high in the air!“ “If you throw an object into the air, it will fall back to the ground because of gravity. Let's learn about it.“ “Yay!“ “We're gonna learn about gravity.“ “Gravity is the force that pulls all objects on Earth toward the ground. Now then, as you can see here in this picture, the force of gravity has the same effect on a ball, a person, or a car.“ “So, Teacher Susie . . .“ “Yes, Sid?“ “Is gravity there all the time?“ “Well, yes! Without gravity, we'd all be floating around in the air.“ “Aaaaahhhh!“ “But with gravity, even when you throw the ball really hard, it will come back dooown!“ “But what about things that never fall, like a feather that floats away?“ “Soap bubbles don't fall, either. What's that about?“ “Mmm-hmm.“ “Well, nothing floats forever. You see, the feather is very light, so the wind can carry it, and it will stay in the air for a while. But sooner or later, it will land. Gravity will bring the feather to the ground. Gravity also helps you slide down the slide on the playground.“ “Huh?“ “But I thought the slide works because it's slanted.“ “You have to climb up the ladder to the top . . . And slide down!“ “Yes, but what force enables you to slide, May?“ “Oh, um . . .“ “Oh, I know, Teacher Susie! When you're at the top of the slide and you're starting to slide down, you're still being pulled to the ground.“ “Uh-huh.“ “Whoa!“ “That's why you slide down! Gravity is what pulls you.“ “Good! Congratulations, Sid. That's exactly right!“ “Now all we have to do is try it.“ “I'll start at the top . . .“ “Alright, May, now let the force of gravity do the rest!“ “Whee!“ “Yeah!“ “May, do you like gravity?“ “It's cool!“ “Okay, Sid! Go!“ “Ooh, yeah!“ “Alright! Hooray for gravity!“ “Yeah!“ “Yay!“ “So cool!“ “Mom! Dad! Come here! I have something amazing to show you: I learned all about gravity today, and it was awesome!“ “Wow! Sounds great!“ “Look. I'm going to launch this penguin into the air, and it'll be pulled back down by gravity!“ “One, two, three . . . go, gravity!“ “Oh, hooray!“ “I'm a master of gravity!“
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