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Our Solar System to Scale

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Our Solar System to Scale

In this activity, learners plan and create a 24-foot long, two-dimensional model of our solar system, and compare and contrast the differences between planets and the sun. Learners calculate the distances, in scale, between our planets and the sun, and consider which planets in our solar system are the hottest or the coldest. This activity can be found on pages 29-30 of the activity guide.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Masking tape
  • Chalk or markers
  • A ruler, yardstick or tape measure to measure 24 feet
  • Worksheet - Our Solar System to Scale


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Size and Scale
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
      • The Planets
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale

Informal Categories

  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection:

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All Rights Reserved, TERC, ©2007

Funding Sources:

  • NASA, NAS5-26555
  • National Science Foundation, NSF 9730728


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