Make A Scale Model Solar System [Monday Morning Math]

[This is a back-issue of one of this site’s newsletters]

It’s been a busy few weeks for me, uploading a number of articles to my blog at I’ll actually be finishing at soon. Hopefully that will be a good thing for Monday Morning Math! We shall see….

One post I’d like to share with you today is a how-to guide for making a scale model of the solar system.

The story of how this project came about started early this year. My son, you see, is in an extension program at his school. They send him on short courses on various topics, intended to broaden his horizons or something. Well, the time to pick a course had come up, but none of the subjects available piqued his interest in the least.

Rather than abandon the horizon-broadening altogether, I decided to make one up for him. I gave him a few suggestions, and he picked this one – making a scale model of the solar system.

He planned out the sizes of the planets, the materials to use to make them, and where to set them up. As for me, beyond a little guidance, I just waved the video camera around.

You can watch the video on Youtube, and read how you can follow our footsteps on

Footsteps! We walked over a mile to place all the planets in the correct places, and another mile back. After we dropped the quail egg of plasticine that was Neptune, I asked my son for his thoughts. His comment was quite profound: Space is a big place.

I’m glad he noticed!

Michael Hartley