Teach students the vastness of space by walking the 1000-Yard Model!
The model provides a vivid demonstration of how nearly everything dwarfs the earth and humanity! If done completely, the model is about a ½ mile walk from from the sun to dwarf planet Pluto. The students are also able to witness how the orbits of the inner and outer planets differ, as well as the relative sizes of the planets and their orbits compared to each other and the sun.
This download includes a lab handout for students to use while walking the model.
The lab handout allows the students to keep track of the individual paces to each planet, and it also contains some dimensional analysis questions to be completed later in the classroom (complete solutions are included in the lab key).
I also include a document with demo photos and advice for performing the model.
For example, when presenting the model, a teacher can demonstrate how the tiny scaled distance between the earth and moon compares to the much larger distance between the earth and Mars, and students can begin to understand how this huge distance would complicate the goal of human travel to Mars. The relative size of our sun compared to larger stars such as VY Canis Majoris (VY CMa) can be vividly demonstrated. VY CMa extends beyond the orbit of Jupiter, which itself extends many yards from the 8-inch diameter sun used in the model. These and other relationships can be modeled with this project and are described in my download.
The 1000-Yard Model was created by astronomer Guy Ottewell, and his guidebook can be purchased at Universal Workshop
Directions for the model can also be found on the National Optical Astronomy Observatory Internet site
You will need to obtain an 8-inch sphere (a soccer ball or basketball works well) and various small objects to represent the planets. These objects are pinheads, peppercorns, nuts, and coffee beans.
My download provides all of the information needed to perform the model with students, but I also encourage you to patronize Guy Ottewell and purchase his guidebook.
The 1000-Yard Model also compliments my laboratory activity Modeling the Solar System
which is available in my TpT store