Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Scale Models of the Solar System

A few days back, I had a request to share with ya'll how I show scale models of the solar system.  Once again, Seeds of Science has an excellent model that I loved.  In the program, they have a printed sheet with the sun and the planets scaled down to be shown at 10 billion times smaller than the actual size.  (Imagine that!)   Unfortunately, it is copy written and I can not share it for free with you guys.  Sorry!

However, I can tell you what we do....We went outside with a our picture cards.

This is the sun.  I asked a student holding Mercury to go where he thinks he should be near the sun.  The students automatically thought they should be right on top of the sun. In truth, the student needed to be about 6 meters away from the sun.  Next, Venus was about 11 meters away from the sun.  Earth was 15 meters away from the sun and Mars was 23 meters away.

Wow...the next planet is Jupiter and that is 50+meters away...too far away to show outside in our school yard.  In fact, we discussed that Jupiter would be all the way past the parking lot and into the soccer field.  That's a far distance in our world!

We couldn't even wrap our heads around where Pluto would be!!  This is a great way to show students the distances and the cards they held showed the scaled size.

Now speaking of scaled size....

I don't know if you have seen the Scale Model of the Universe that is available on-line.  It is pretty mindboggling!  I recommend you share this with your students to see ginormous as well as minute objects in our universe.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this activity! I use it with my sixth graders!