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Thursday, January 20, 2011

S is for Solar System

Today BJ presented his second science project to his kindergarten classmates. It isn't surprising in the least that he decided to do a "Solar System" project for the "S" section of the curriculum!

The only point in question was what, exactly, he'd do for his project. His first idea was a mobile, but he soon changed his mind. Finally, he decided: a 3D poster!

So we got styrofoam balls to represent the planets and the sun. (You'd scarcely believe what it costs to buy styrofoam balls individually! $16 for a single good-sized ball! So I ended up picking up a set that was originally intended to make a mobile, which was much more reasonably priced. It worked well, once I convinced BJ that I wasn't forcing him back to his original idea, telling him to ignore the pictures on the box of supplies and explaining that we were simply going to use the enclosed styrofoam balls for his project idea.) I cut the balls in half, and he glued them to foam coreboard. He did some painting and added in the asteroid belt -- packing peanuts that he crushed up and mixed with silver paint. Then he added the labels: names for each planet (including Pluto, of course) and distance from the sun.

When he presented it to the class, the other students were very interested in how he'd put it all together -- one girl was convinced he must have made it out of Cheetos -- and they enjoyed the 3D tactile effect. He ended up talking about it for more than 10 minutes, and it was impressive to see how well his peers managed to hold it together. That's a long time for a kindergarten student to listen to another kindergarten student!

I wish I'd gotten a better picture of the project; it's hard to do it justice from the distant shots I got. But he was very proud, as he should be!

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