Solar System Distance Activity (Bead Solar System) (PDF, 39 KB)
In this lesson, students will:
- Create a model with string and colored beads demonstrating the scale distances of the solar system using astronomical units that have been converted into a 10 cm scale
- Understand the distances between the sun, planets and small objects in the solar system
Grade Level: 5-8
National Science Education Standard: Earth in the solar system.
More solar system-related education activities:
New Horizons is designed to help us understand the worlds at the edge of our solar system by making the first reconnaissance of Pluto and Charon and the Kuiper Belt, the last of the three major zones in our solar system to be visited by spacecraft. As the first voyage to a whole new class of planets in the farthest zone of the solar system, New Horizons is a historic mission of exploration. The United States has made history by being the first nation to reach every planet from Mercury to Neptune with a space probe. The New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt -- the first NASA launch to a new destination since Voyager more than 30 years ago -- allows the U.S. to complete the reconnaissance of the solar system.
More mission resources:
What is a Planet?
Topic: Investigating Our Planetary Family Tree, Our Evolving Understanding of Our Solar System
Grade Level: 9-12
Body: Asteroids, Dwarf Planets, Comets, Kuiper Belt & Oort Cloud, Pluto
Mission: Dawn (Dwarf Planets), New Horizons (Dwarf Planets)
Short Description: Students learn about the characteristics of planets, comets, asteroids, and trans-Neptunian objects through a classification activity. Students can then apply what they have learned by participating in a formal debate about a solar system object discovered by the New Horizons spacecraft and by defining the term "planet."