Covers point 1 of Astronomer badge, sets a challenge for cubs to make and demonstrate a model of the solar system using a selection of resources and using the orbits drawn on the hut floor in chalk
a selection of balls of different sizes eg football, tennis ball, golf ball also blue tack, plasticene, balloons,oranges etc can be used, chalk to draw the orbits on the floor of the meeting place (wooden floor is perfect as it rubs off very easily), a picture of the solar system from a book for them to use as a guide, paper, sellotape and pens to draw planets and make labels for their planets if desired
Draw a circle in the centre of the floor to represent the sun, then draw 8/9 orbits around this sun with chalk. Each six were given 20mins prep time after a brief description of what they had to do. An explanation of the difference between an orbit and a planet rotating on its axis in relation to the sun was given using the chalk lines and the pictures of the solar system were given to the sixers. The resources were placed at the side of the hall to use. An extra sheet of facts was given out telling the cubs how long it took for some planets to go round the sun etc. After 20mins each six had to demonstrate their model using the orbits drawn on the floor to the rest of the cubs. Points were awarded for: having balls/pictures to the right relative scale ie Earth is a small planet compared to Neptune, having the planets in the right order ie on the right orbits and then extra points for any interesting features demonstrated eg we had one cub holding a ball representing earth and while he walked around his orbit another cub holding a ball for the moon circled him at the same time therefore representing the moon orbiting the earth while the earth orbits the sun. Sounds complicated but it wasn't and kept the cubs engaged for a good 40 minutes overall while they all added their own details.