Try This Tops Idea!
... adapted from SCALE THE UNIVERSE #44
by TOPS Learning Systems
Spark a lively discussion about the relative sizes of things!
1. Make a magnified copy of these tabs.
2. Cut them apart, mix them up, and distribute one per student.
3. Ask students to identify their tabs: "I've got the moon!"
4. Have students arrange themselves in a line from smallest diameter to largest.
(Don't rush in with answers!)
To qualitatively compare and sort distances, from subatomic to astronomic. To work cooperatively toward a more accurate understanding of how structures in the universe fit together.
Depending on academic level, some groups may need more discussion than others:
* An atom has a small, dense nucleus composed of neutrons and protons.
* All tabs can be imagined as spheres or circles where twice the radius equals the diameter.
* Our Sun's diameter (1,380,000 km) is roughly 1.8 times longer than our moon's orbit diameter.
* All Oort Cloud objects, from planets in our solar system to far-out comets, are bound by gravity to our massive sun/star.
* On a clear dark night, we can see a few thousand star/suns in our immediate "neighborhood" with the naked eye.
* Our star "neighborhood" spirals with billions of other stars in our home Milky Way galaxy.
* Our Milky Way circles with numerous neighboring galaxies to form a Local Group.
* Our Local Group rotates near the outer edge of many other groups of galaxies with the Virgo Group near its center. …