Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.
Astronomical scale is a difficult concept for elementary students to grasp when they begin studying the solar system. A school yard solar system model gives students a tangible experience of astronomical distances. After determining the distances between planets and the Sun, students decode a mystery that requires them to travel from planet to planet. The physical component of this gives students a real appreciation for how “close” the inner planets are compared with the cold and distant outer ones.