Discovery’s Solar System Walk

Posted by Laura Stern on September 13, 2017 in News STEM Summer Programs Summer Program News

At Discovery, we specialize in hands-on STEM fun. We want to make certain that STEM topics are relevant and accessible for our audience. Here is one story of how we bought a unique understanding about our solar system to a group of kids:

Two of our space-related Summer STEM Program classes took part in a solar system walk, where our educator used the length of our campus as a scale model of the distance from the sun to Pluto. At that scale, the sun is 4.5 inches, represented by a large grapefruit. Our educator drew the planets and some moon orbits to scale, then took a walk with the class measuring their way across the “Solar System.” Once at Pluto, participants guessed the sizes and distances of the nearest stars. At that scale, Alpha Centauri is an orange, 1500 miles away (in Florida); Sirius would be a cantaloupe 3500 miles away (in France). These dynamic activities are especially important for inspiring our children and offering lifelong impact for STEM learning outcomes.