Thursday, February 18, 2016

February 18: Pluto discovered (1925)

image from sciencefiction.com

Pluto was discovered in 1925. When it was still considered a planet, it was the farthest from the sun. This is a good day to explore just how far from the sun each planet is!


Planets Distances from the Sun

Materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • String
  • Ruler
  • Objects to represent planets
  • Masking tape
  • Marker

Directions:

  1. What is the average distance from the sun for each planet in our Solar System? Check out EnchantedLearning.com to see how far each planet is from the sun.
  2. You can experiment with scale in different ways depending on space allowed, but to offer some perspective if 1 inch equals 10 million miles, Mercury will be less than six inches from the sun while Pluto would be over 300 feet away!
  3. Kids can measure strings to certain lengths to make it easier to quickly figure distances. For example, they can measure out lengths of string to 10 inches, 100 inches, etc. Then they can use a ruler for distances under 10 inches.
  4. Use an object to mark each planet. You may opt to just put down a piece of masking tape with the name of the planet written on it.
  5. What do kids think once it is done? Did they think the planets would be closer together? Farther apart?
Source(s): Toolbox Training’s book 100 Science Activities for Kids (activity F9).


Check out the full February calendar. It includes floating holidays, specialty weeks, and specialty months.

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