DPS Meeting, Madison, October 1998
Session 18P. K-12 Planetary Science Education Posters
Contributed Poster Session, Tuesday, October 13, 1998, 10:40-11:40am, Hall of Ideas

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[18P.05] Elementary/Middle School Activities on Scale and Distance in the Solar System

M. L. Urquhart (U of Colorado)

I will present three activities related to scale and distance in the Solar System. All have been classroom tested, are designed for upper elementary and middle school, and are easily adaptable to other grades. Students will construct scale models using common materials and compare their models to the scaled size of the Earth. Each activity is designed to aid students in understanding the nature of the Solar System, and is in line with National Science Education Standards. Each can also be used to fulfill Mathematics Education Standards. All three activities include teacher instructions and, in some cases, student handouts.

The Scale Model Solar System activity has a scale of 1 to 10 billion in both size and distance, and is based on the scale of the Colorado Scale Model Solar System on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Students choose objects to represent each planet from a selection provided by their teacher. A grapefruit is used to represent the Sun. The distance portion of the activity requires a straight hallway or school yard of 80 m to go as far as Jupiter, or about 0.6 km (or 1/3 mile) to reach Pluto.

A Scale Model Comet activity is provided on two scales, one to match the Scale Model Solar System, and one on a scale of 1 to 6 billion. In the 3-D Scale Model Saturn activity, students make hand-held 3-D models of Saturn, its rings, and its moon Titan with a scale of 1 to 1.6 billion. (This activity was originally developed in the spring of 1997 as one of two supplemental activities for NASA's Saturn Teacher Guide designed by the author.) All three activities are available, along with other K-12 educational materials by the author, on the WWW at http://lyra.colorado.edu/sbo/mary/.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://lyra.colorado.edu/sbo/mary/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: urquhart@argyre.colorado.edu

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