Creator: Jason Heim (@jasonj1507)
Suggested Grade Level: Middle School, High School
Subject Area: Science, STEM
While on a field trip to Washington DC, 8th grade science teacher, Jason Heim, used a trip to the Lincoln Memorial to provide his students with a hands-on opportunity to explore the concept of the solar system. He had them use their iPads to create a scale model of the Solar System using known places and relative sizes for the planets. By the end of the activity, his students had gained a significanlty better understanding of the size and distances to each of the planets from the sun.
Final project example: http://youtu.be/hc_hNijbl_8 Students use http://umanitoba.ca/observatory/outreach/solarsystem/ to create their scale in google maps and to choose a location. Check out the Project Directions.
Extending the Project
This scale model idea could also be explored on a school campus or at another location. If iPads are not available, then a similar project could have been created completely digitally using Google Earth or Google Maps and images of objects.