By Lauren Nasto-Maunz
Educators everywhere are working to make remote learning work for their students. Since I live in the community where I work, I decided to bring science to my students right outside my door.
If you drive or walk past my house, you will see a scale solar system model to illustrate the relative sizes of and distances between the planets and the results are stunning!
I put the planet names in the street so that they wouldn’t be missed by fast-moving bikers. Every planet also had a homemade sign written on upcycled paper and stuck in the ground with chopsticks to add fun facts, like how Saturn would float in water or how Uranus is the only planet that rotates on its side.
Kids were able to follow along at their own pace – far from each other – while getting some exercise and fresh air.
Anyone can make their own street or driveway model of the solar system using this link.
Be sure to add the moon because it is crazy to see how close we are to the moon, where we’ve been, and far we are from Mars, where we want to go next!!
Another project that I tried with my street involved plant propagation. I gave my wandering dude a trim and placed the cuttings out front. There was a sign next to the cuttings encouraging neighbors to take one and place it in water to watch the roots grow before planting it in soil.
The first batch went pretty quickly so I’m hoping people enjoy bringing a little nature inside during these stressful times and that we’ll have a neighborhood full of healthy new plants!
Lauren Nasto-Maunz is a teacher of Physics and Chemistry at Haddon Heights Jr./Sr. High School.