Project Description

Earth & The Milky Way

Space is a vacuum but it is far from empty. During this fascinating workshop you’ll launch into space and explore planets, moons, stars and galaxies. Follow in the footsteps of the great astronomers as you probe the mystery, scale and Earth’s place in the Universe.

  • Level: Available for Level 3 to Level 6.

  • Duration: Available in a 60 or 90 minute format. We recommend a 90 minute format if budget and timetabling constraints allow.

  • Numbers: Each workshop can cater to a maximum of 30 children. However, smaller groups have better access to equipment and the facilitator.

  • State: VIC, NSW, ACT & QLD

Learning Outcomes

  • The number and names of the planets and their order from the Sun.

  • The scale of the Solar System – the sizes of planets, compared to the Sun, and their distances from the Sun and each other.

  • The reclassification of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet as an example of science being a changing body of knowledge.

  • The planets rotate (turn, spin) on their axes. One rotation is one day (24 hours for Earth).

  • As well as rotating, the planets also revolve around the Sun.

  • All of the planets, except for Mercury and Venus, have moons, which also rotate and revolve around the planets.

  • The planets, their moons and the Sun make up the Solar System. Other bodies in the Solar System include asteroids, meteoroids and comets.

  • Sometimes meteoroids crash into planets and make craters. Earth’s thick atmosphere burns up many meteoroids before they reach Earth.

  • Our solar system is in the Milky Way galaxy. There are billions of other galaxies.

  • To launch into space, a rocket needs to generate a force called thrust to overcome Earth’s gravity.

  • The surfaces of other planets and moons are not necessarily the same as Earth.

  • Space is a vacuum – there is no air.

Activities

  • Collaborate within a group to create an accurate model of the planets in the Solar System. This includes the order of the planets and the distances between planets.

  • Demonstration of the relative size of the Sun compared to Earth and other planets with a supersized, expanding sphere.

  • Participate in a group activity that models the effect of a large mass on space-time and how this leads to gravitational forces.

  • Make craters by dropping rocks of different shapes at different angles.

  • Students use a chemical reaction to launch a rocket.

  • Collaborate within a group to design and build a model planetary rover.

  • Observe the effect of a vacuum on matter.

Victorian Curriculum Links

  • Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape; daily and seasonal changes affect everyday life  (VCSSU046)

  • Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (VCSSU061)

  • Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun)  (VCSSU078)

NSW Curriculum Links

  • Recognises observable changes occurring in the sky and on the land and identifies Earth’s resources (ST1-10ES-S)

Australian Curriculum Links

  • Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape; daily and seasonal changes affect everyday life  (VCSSU046)

  • Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day (VCSSU061)

  • Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun)  (VCSSU078)

  • Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape  (ACSSU019)

  • Earth’s rotation on its axis causes regular changes, including night and day  (ACSSU048)

  • Earth is part of a system of planets orbiting around a star (the Sun)  (ACSSU078)

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SCHOOL FEEDBACK

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Lisa was very professional and was able to express scientific concepts in an engaging way. The children were excited and enthusiastic about being scientists and all children were supported to have a go! Thanks!

Simone Griggs March 5, 2019

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Really valuable sessions enjoyed by kids and staff. Gemma was really relaxed and enthusiastic.

February 2, 2016

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Excellent 1 hour where students had an opportunity to have hands-on experience and learn in more depth about light and energy. Presenter was extremely knowledgeable and answered all students’ questions.

Anne De Cata March 5, 2019

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