Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wednesday Weekly Website – Sizing Up The Universe


Sizing Up The Universe


Review: Sizing up the universe is an amazing interactive. Many of the discoveries of physical science can seem incomprehensible to students because they involve phenomena on scales far removed from their experiences but this interactive solves the problem by letting students use familiar objects such as golf balls and basketballs and placing them in familiar contexts to explain the correct scale of universe. First you need to choose an object for planet Earth, you can choose between a beach ball, a basket ball and a brussels sprout. Then you will decide the size of the moon if your earth was as big as one of the above object. Using Google maps this interactive will explain to you how far the moon would be if earth the size of, say, a beach ball is placed in your backyard. Then the interactive will let you visualize how big would be the sun for a beach ball sized earth and if the sun is kept in your back yard, where exactly would be the earth. My kids really liked it as they could see familiar neighborhood features to explain them the distance between objects. The interactive then goes on to explain solar system, Milky way, other galaxies and the distance between sun and the nearest star. A true gem for any space project and space enthusiast. We had fun imagining the proportion of objects for example if our solar system is as large as a fried egg, the milky way would be as big as continent Asia. So we tried to imagine how many fried eggs would be needed to fill up the entire continent of Asia. It was real fun. There are also some videos to watch but videos contain music so better keep the speakers off. There is music also at the beginning of the interactive.


Suitable for ages: 5-15 years old.

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