[STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math. It’s an approach to learning we take seriously here at TLC! Use the category selector drop down menu over in the right hand sidebar to select “STEAM” to learn more. The pictures and words to today’s post come directly from first grade teacher Ms. Darea.]
During our solar system unit we made a to-scale model of the solar system! Prior to making the model, the kids worked together to research an object from space. They had to design their space object on a paper plate, glue their paper plate to a poster and write three facts on the poster as well. I had found an activity called Jump to Jupiter which told what objects to use and how many jumps from the sun you would have to go in order to make your model to scale. So, I had various items like a grapefruit, poppy seeds, a marble, etc. and the children had to decide which item would represent which object in the solar system based on size.
Next, we walked to the park with our objects and their posters. We started with the sun. The pair of students who researched the sun presented their poster and then we began jumping away from the sun stopping at each planet along the way so the children could present their posters. We had to stop by the time we got Saturn because the park was not big enough! The group that was with me jumping started yelling, “It’s too far! We can’t even the see the sun from here!”
We regrouped and talked about what we learned. The people who were with me figured that because they couldn’t even see the sun from where they were that their planet was probably pretty dark and cold. They also realized that space is exactly that-a whole lot of space.