Lesson Title: Solar System Simulator
This online software generates views of the bodies of our planetary system at any date from any artificial or natural point of observation.
• Investigate how to determine the relative position of the sun, planets and a number of planetary spacecraft using a simple Web-based program.
• Explore how planets change their position in space over time.
Lesson Activities and Sequence
- Solar Pizza
This lesson can be combined with the Solar Pizza activity, which allows one to make a scale model of the Sun/Earth system (limited space).
Keywords: planets, scale models, distances, modeling, orbits, sizes
- The Schoolyard Solar System
This lesson can be combined with The Schoolyard Solar System, which allows one to make a scale model of the whole solar system (large space availability).
Keywords: planet sizes, distances, orbits, scale models
National Science Education Standards, NSTA
Science and Technology
• Abilities of technological design.
• Understanding about science and technology.
Earth and Space Science
• Earth in the solar system.
• Objects in the sky.
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics, NCTM
Number and Operations in Base Ten
• Perform operations with multidigit whole numbers and with decimals to hundredths.
Operations and Algebraic Thinking
• Generate and analyze patterns.
ISTE NETS and Performance Indicators for Students, ISTE
Creativity and Innovation
• Use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
Technology Operations and Concepts
• Understand and use technology systems.