Friday, 9 March 2012

Solar System Projects for Kids

Solar System Projects for Kids

If you are on the lookout for science fair project ideas, then opt for a solar system project that can introduce your child to the astronomical wonders of the universe.
Has your kid always showed an interest in the different facts about the solar system? Then why not give this interest impetus by working together on a solar system project. Choosing one of the many options for solar system projects for kids for a science fair will keep his interest alive and also help him learn more about the different celestial bodies and planets in the solar system.

Solar System Projects

Astronomy is an extremely fascinating subject and it is important that you introduce your kid to this science at an early age so that he learns more about different celestial bodies. Studying the solar system is always the most amount of fun if you make a model of the sun and the planets in their axis. Making a model of a solar system at home is not very difficult and can in fact be a lot of fun. All you need to do is use some objects that are easily available at any stationery shop and recreate the solar system. Given below are the instructions that you will need in order to make a model of the solar system.

Things You Need

  • Foam balls (in different sizes according to scaled measurement)
  • Acrylic paints
  • Tin pie plate
  • Wire
  • Glue
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Swiss army knife
  • Pencil

  • In order to make a model of a solar system, you will need an image of the same as reference. Designate each foam ball to one planet depending on their size.
  • The next step is to paint the foam balls in different colors, depending on the planet/ celestial body they represent. Therefore, Mars would be painted red and Earth would be painted blue and green.
  • Next place the planets in order, according to their distance from the Sun. This step will finish the prep work that you need to do in order to create a model of a solar system.
  • Next you will need to create a ring for Saturn. Use the cardboard to cut out a ring with a diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the foam ball that represents Saturn.
  • Now take the ring and slide the foam ball representing Saturn inside it. Stick the ring to the planet around the center. Paint the ring in a color that resembles the color of the actual ring around the planet Saturn.
  • Now take the wire and cut it into nine parts - one for each of the planets and one for the Sun.
  • Thread the pieces of wire through the foam balls. Once you thread it, bend the end of the wire so that the foam balls do not slip out.
  • The top portion of the wire needs to be spiraled which can be done using a pencil. First wrap the wire around the pencil and then remove it create spirals.
  • Now comes the part of attaching the planets and the sun to the tin pie plate. For this you will need to use a Swiss army knife to create holes through which the wires can be suspended.
  • Start from the middle of the tin pie plate suspending the Sun first, so that you can get your dimensions and distances right.
  • Once you have suspended all the planets, you have created your solar system model. Now just paint a background for it on a chart paper and hang it front of this background.
When you think of ideas for solar system projects, the first image that crops into your mind is that of a model of the solar system. While this is definitely the best option for a science fair project on solar systems, it is also generally the most common one. Now that you know how to make a solar system, you can opt to choose from the multitude of options for easy solar system projects. You can use these to teach them about the different aspects of the solar system and the galaxy.

Ideas for Solar System Projects
1 You could opt to concentrate on the constellations in the solar system for your child's project. If you do decide on this option for a solar system project, you will need to help the child recreate the constellations on a poster board after observation of the sky on a clear night. In order to identify the constellations correctly, he will need a sky map. Get him to first recreate his observations on a poster board and then duplicate this with more clarity on another board for the science fair.
2 If your child has shown a deep interest in astronomy, and celestial bodies, then you could also opt to recreate the different phases of the Moon. Before you move on to such a project ensure that your child understands the solar system as a whole. This is one of those solar system projects that will need you to observe the Moon in all its phases. This will need time. If you do not have time on your hand, then you could try and explain the phenomenon to your kid with the help of a lamp that has had its lampshade removed. Use a small ball to represent the moon and let your child's head represent planet Earth. Let the ball slowly revolve around Earth and ask your child to note down the parts which are reflecting light. Try and explain to your child, the different phases of the Moon. For the science fair project, you can create a working model using a lamp, a ball to represent Moon, and another bigger ball to represent Earth.
3 Other solar system projects include helping them learn how to scale down actual measurements to distances that they can easily understand. You could also decide to study the topography of other planets in the solar system. Planets like Mars and Venus which have been studied by astronomers and scientists are your best bet. You could also create models to understand the surface geography of Earth's natural satellite, Moon.

This are some of the easiest solar system projects. It can be made easily with hardly any help. It is also possible to create 3D solar system projects for kids by using the various kits that are available in the market. These kits which are available for all ages only need you to assemble the parts given to create a solar system model. Solar system projects are a great method of introducing children to the wonders of the universe and the basic concepts of astronomy. 

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