A Solar System That Fits in a Classroom! - Part II
The cost of (1) Trippensee Chain-Driven Illuminated Planetarium (from Fisher Scientific) is $614, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.
A solar system that fits in a classroom doesn't require a rocketship to visit, just a willingness to learn! The vast distances and sizes of the solar system are hard for anyone to grasp. Descriptions in books and drawings help explain, but a 3-D model sparks the imagination, making it easier to remember and understand. In addition, studies show that manipulatives - such as solar system models - help children make connections to what they are learning.
A model of the solar system will be useful for teaching the fifth-graders about the orbits of the individual planets, including the earth, distances, and proportions. It will demonstrate the phases of the moon and the moon's orbit around the earth as the earth orbits the sun. Seasonal shifts on the earth's axis can also be demonstrated with the model, which is useful for lessons that focus on climate changes. One example of a climate change focuses on how the sun's rays strike the Earth's surface at different angles.
Best of all, we won't need a launch pad!
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.