Saturday, June 16, 2012

Reader Contributes an Astronomy Idea

Monday, March 28, 2011 2:34:00 PM PDT 
Here's an opening quote for how a submitted by a reader starts.  Go to the link itself, however as it is more colorful and has the necessary starting information for this science activity.  It is by Kathy A. Miles and Charles F. Peters II.

"Toilet Paper Solar System

     "It's hard to image the vast distances in the universe. We can image twelve inches or ten feet, but 93 million miles is a bit hard to comprehend. Here's an interesting way to get an idea of the distances between the planets and Sun.
"What You Will Need
  • Roll of toilet paper or you may use a blank cash register tape from an office supply store but it must be at least 125 feet long.
  • Different colour magic markers or felt tip pens.
  • A tape measure
  • A long hallway or very large room
  • Optional: You might like to use pictures of the planets if you can get some small enough to fit on your toilet paper or tape. This will add some colour to your model."  Read more

This type of activity enhances science literacy because it helps participants understand large numbers.

Here's the submission on the post  "Winter Star Party Teaching Ideas"

1 Comment - Show Original Post

1 – 1 of 1
Blogger Mr said...
For younger kids, especially when outdoors, the 'toilet paper' universe is fun activity that is designed to show just how distant the planets and nearest star are. I have used this a number of times with younger scout troops, and it works well.
Check it out at: 

Some other Resources for Large (or small ) Numbers necessary for Science and Math Literacy include:

A movie from MIT---> Space, So Close, So Far

  1. :  Teaching Relevant Science for Scientific Literacy by Art Hobson
  2. :  Big Numbers and Scientific Notation  by Jennifer M. Wenner, Geology Department, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
  3. by  - Mitchell N Charity <> A View from the Back of the Envelope
    Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps by Kees Boeke (1957)
  5. "Cornelis Boeke (25 September 1884, Alkmaar - 3 July 1966, Abcoude) was a Dutch reformist educatorQuaker missionary and pacifist. He is best known for his popular essay/book Cosmic View (1957) which presents a seminal view of the universe, from the galactic to the microscopic scale, and inspired several films"
  6.,0,0,0,dealing_with_very_large_and_very_small_numbers,25,1,tn,1.html This page has several resources for various science subject areas.
  7. prefixes and suffixes for large and small numbers
  8. :  Article by Hans-Joachim Vollrath geared to a religious elementary school audience but having many ideas and activities applicable to all wishing to learn about large and small numbers

  9. Gives examples from other fields (National debt, net worth, mass of electrons) and applies them to help students understand numbers found in astronomy.

No comments: