The objective of this lab is to make a scale model of our solar system, so as to better understand just how large the distances in our solar system are.
- Scientific Calculator
- Meter Stick(s)
- Objects/signs to represent each object in the Solar System
This lab is used in 8th grade physical science and 9th grade earth science. After students calculate the scale distances between each object in the Solar System, you then have the class make the scale solar system by placing labeled objects/signs and measuring each object's distances out to the scale they've calculated.
You can modify the lab to fit any scale you'd like. I have my students create the scale model down our hallway, which is about 50 feet long. You can do this in a space as small as the classroom, or as large as the football/track field. The numerator in the left side of the proportion on page 2 is left blank for you to create a scale that fits your needs. Once you've calculated the scale, you can either plug it in before you photocopy, or just have the students fill it in before they begin.
This lab meets the New York State NYS science standards, as well as the common core standards.