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Science on the Road

Assemblies

Space Encounters

Pre-Visit Activity:

How big is it?

Prepare your students for scale modeling.

Draw a circle on the chalkboard or on paper. It should be 8 inches in diameter. This represents the Sun. Now have your students draw circles according to what they think the sizes of the planets would be.

Answers:
Mercury - .028 in
Venus - .070 in
Earth - .073 in (about the size of a piece of pepper)
Mars- .039 in
Jupiter -.80 in (a little bigger than a penny)
Saturn - .67 in
Uranus- .269 in
Neptune- .261 in
Pluto - .01in

Try this activity after we've done your program:

Ringed Planets

Materials:
Paper plate
Markers
Pencil
Tape

This activity shows children how single pieces of ice and rocks can look like the rings around planets.

  1. Have children use dark markers to make dots scattered around the outer rim of the paper plate.
  2. Push the pencil through the center of the plate. You may want to use tape to hold it in place.
  3. Children can spin the pencil while looking at the plate. The dots will merge into rings before their very eyes!

Books:
Golden Book Publishing Solar System
Branley, Franklyn Mansfield. The Planets in Our Solar System: Stage 2
Davis, Kenneth C. Don't Know Much about the Solar System

Internet Sites for Kids:
Cosmic Quest
NASA Kids

Internet Sites for Teachers:
Solar System Simulator
The Space Place



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