Astronomy class models the solar system

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Students measure the distance between two planets.

Most students study the solar system simply out of a textbook. However, the astronomy class at Oakville High School is studying the solar system in a more “life-like” way.

The students in Mrs. Jenkins’s astronomy class made a scale model of the solar system out of paper. They designed every planet with different colors and sizes. They wanted to focus on the distance between the planets to learn about how big, or small, some planets really are.

The students placed their paper planets down the second floor hallway, with a certain distance in between them to represent the real distance in outer space. When all the planets were placed, the scale model of the solar system went all the way down the main hallway.

“We scaled the diameter of the planets, and measured their distance relative to the sun,” student Rialda Mustic (12) said.

The students were able to realize how small Earth in particular really is. For example, the diameter of Jupiter was 11 times the diameter of Earth. They also learned where planets are in relation to other planets, like how far Uranus is from Earth, or even Mercury.

According to the students in the class, interactive and hands-on projects like these help them to learn more and absorb the information better.