Solar System Launch

Curated and Reviewed by Lesson Planet

Trying to understand the vastness of outer space can be quite a challenge for young scientists. Help put things in perspective with this cross-curricular activity as students work in pairs creating scaled models of the solar system, before launching straw rockets to see how far they can travel through space.

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Complete this activity during an upper-elementary or middle school astronomy lesson on the solar system
  • Extend learning by having students research different space missions and the distances they covered 
Classroom Considerations
  • Activity requires sets of solar system stickers for each pair of students, which will have to be purchased ahead of time
  • Resource provides a clear list of step-by-step directions for completing a scale model of the solar system
  • Includes a table that supports students with calculating the scaled distances between planets
  • A document is included that helps teachers set up a spreadsheet for recording and graphing the distances the straw rockets travel
  • None