Astronomy students bring the solar system to their own classroom


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High school classes tend to be a common place for group projects. But typically, those projects include three or four people, not the whole classroom. Hence why this astronomy project was so unique. The 12 students in the class were given the task to scale down the solar system to learn more about it and its vastness. The whole class was involved in making it a success. Recreating the whole solar system on a much smaller scale was truly a whole team effort.

Despite it being a whole class project, the students were still somewhat split into groups in order to work on various tasks. While a few students were in charge of doing research, the others were in charge of cutting out shapes and putting them up. Nonetheless, communication was vital between all group members to let all the students know when tasks were completed or parts of the project were altered. The students also had to find out the sizes for each planet and celestial body and scale it down to the proper size so it could fit within the classroom. According to a few students within the class, creating this scale was the hardest part as it involved a lot of calculation and math. Having the class be so relatively miniscule to the actual solar system also made it difficult to have certain celestial bodies be big enough to be visible around the class. One of these celestial bodies was Pluto, which ended up being a simple black dot on the wall.

The project took about one week to complete, and the class enjoyed seeing the final results. Although it took some time, effort and a lot of hard work, the astronomy students were glad they got the chance to participate in a project like this. They were proud of the fact they were able to accomplish recreating a large portion of the solar system within their own classroom. When asked about their favorite part of the project, one of the students, a senior named Tyler Rosenlof responded with, “the teamwork.” From the research to the actual assembly, which required reaching up to stick the planets, stars and other celestial bodies onto the walls, a majority of the class can agree that the whole project was fun.

This project was a great way for students who enjoy learning through hands on activities to be able to find out more about their solar system. Not only that, but it is also a creative way for students to implement what they learned by recreating a scale model. Hopefully, more classrooms will be able to implement enjoyable projects like this as a way to encourage their students to learn about certain lessons in a way that will allow them to let out their inner creativity, just as the astronomy class students had been able to.

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Astronomy students bring the solar system to their own classroom