Travel the solar system in 100 steps
flags or signs to represent each planet, or items described in the BBC Stargazing pack to show planets relative sizes
Needs a large space, big enough to take 100 steps from one end to the other
1. Take the YP outside, need to be able to take 100 steps through space.
2. Select someone to be the sun. They can hold a torch/lantern to represent the Sun as won’t have an object big enough.
3. Select a YP to be Mercury, ask them to take 1 step from the Sun, this is Mercury. either give the YP a sign, flag to say they're Mercury or use a peppercorn if want to show relative planet sizes.
4. Select a YP to be Venus. They will start from the sun, take 2 steps, and then stop. either give the YP a sign, flag to say they're Venue or use a Cherry Tomato if want to show relative planet sizes.
5. Continue to select YP to represent the planets. All of the YP should start their steps from the sun and walk in the same direction, so that by the end of the activity, all of the “planets” are stretched out in a long line.
Steps needed are:
Planet Distance From Sun km (approx.) Steps from Sun Representative Item
Mercury 58 million km 1 step Peppercorn
Venus 108 million km 2 steps Cherry Tomato
Earth 150 million km 2.5 steps Cherry Tomato
Mars 228 million km 4 steps Blueberry
Jupiter 778 million km 13 steps Watermellon
Saturn 1.4 billion km 24 steps Large Grapefruit
Uranus 2.8 billion km 48 steps Apple
Neptune 4.5 billion km 76 steps Lime
Pluto 5.9 billion km 100 steps Something half the size of a peppercorn!
6. It may be difficult to go all the way to Neptune and Pluto. YP will need to make sure they take reasonable steps not giant ‘spaceman’ ones.
7. Once the sun and all of the planets are in a line, shout the name of a planet and the other YP need to run to it.