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activities: section 3

Solar System Scales

Solar System Distance Activity (Bead Solar System)
Mars Activity Book: K-12 Classroom Activities
http://marsrover.nasa.gov/classroom/pdfs/MSIP-MarsActivities.pdf scroll to page 115
Students construct a distance model of the Solar System using string and beads. They convert AU’s to centimeters. (See also http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/classroom)

Modeling Orbits in the Solar System (Human Solar System)
Modeling the Solar System
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/Education/pdf_files/ModelingSolarSystem.pdf
Students construct a distance scale model of our solar system using a long hallway or playing field. They observe that space is mostly empty and speculate on the challenges of traveling to other planets.
(Note: In workshops, we give participants a card with a planet’s AU measurement and instruct them to take 4 steps for every AU. It moves more quickly to meet the objectives. Remember to call in the outer planets and the asteroid belt before discussing their observations.)

Modeling Sizes of Planets: Part 1 Modeling the SS with Foods
Modeling the Solar System
http://ares.jsc.nasa.gov/Education/pdf_files/ModelingSolarSystem.pdf
Students compare the relative sizes of the planets using familiar fruits and vegetables.

Braille Solar System
Southeast Regional Clearinghouse
Using plastic Braille solar system mats, students experience the trip from the sun to Pluto through their fingertips. Originally designed for vision-impaired learners, this activity is popular and meaningful with all audiences.
Note: The mats can be ordered at NASA CORE: http://core.nasa.gov
Keyword: Solar System Braille Map

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