Over the summer hols little learners between the ages of 5 and 7 blasted off into space with our Space Exploration programme at Saint George’s Hall.
We learned the order of the planets using the clever mnemonic device:
Then we painted our own planets to create a mobile of the solar system while discussing facts about each of the planets and what happened to Pluto. It is important to note that the sun is not a planet, it is a star. It is the only star in our solar system, but there are many others that are larger throughout the universe.
The kids loved the idea of planets orbiting around the sun! We went out on the front lawn to explore how planets both orbit around the sun while simultaneously rotating on their axis. It was difficult to orbit and rotate at the same time without getting dizzy!
The students did struggle a bit with understanding the difference between the solar system, galaxy, and universe.
The solar system is just the system of things that orbit around our sun. That’s why it’s called the solar system. Our solar system has only one star, our sun.
Our solar system is a small part of the larger Milky Way Galaxy, which has many more stars, some of which are larger than ours.
The Milky Way Galaxy is just one galaxy in the larger universe which comprises everything!
After lunch we learned about comets, which are commonly referred to as “dirty snowballs” because they are made up of ice and dirt. As comets near the sun they begin to melt slightly, forming a “tail” of gas particles. The students created their own flying snowballs out of foil and streamers.
We ended the day by using homemade puffy paint made out of PVA glue and shaving cream to create moons in various phases. We used our fingers to create craters in our moons. It’s always great when a project is both educational and messy!