Monday, August 5, 2013

Giant solar system mobile

I have found from my shelf reading that the kids love the 520s - a.k.a. books on the solar system and space.  So I decided it would be fun to add a decorative display of the planets for my students.  But never fear, I'm not going to take anything away from their science teachers - mine won't be proportionally correct.  I found a very cool website called Planet Size Comparison where you can see how big the planets are in comparison to each other.  For example, Earth and Venus both rank right at size 1 but Jupiter is an 11 and Mercury is 2.5 times smaller than Earth.  Oh and the sun is 108 times larger than the Earth.  So you see what I mean when I say I have a proportion problem.

Anyway, when I was having my brainstorm, I remembered seeing this cute project all over the Internet:
This is the best idea for the planets I can think of.  I'll use different sized balloons to make the planets, along with yarn in colors that represent each planet.  This is basically just taking the yarn, dipping it in watered down glue, and wrapping it around and around the balloon.  Then a second coating of glue can be brushed on.  Once it's all dry, you pop the balloon, pull it out the area you left open, and viola!  If you really want to see how to do this project, visit this great tutorial by Raechel Myers.

My planets won't be light fixtures, they'll just hang from the cross beams of the skylight.  I plan to stagger them out from the Sun, not necessarily in a straight line, but in different orbits.

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