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Science in Year 5

Friday 17th November | 1 comment

This week in Year 5 we have been getting to grips with the sheer size of the Solar System. How? With toilet rolls of course!

One of the biggest problems we have encountered is that all the diagrams of the Solar System we could find seem to suggest that the planets are all quite close together.This is just not the case however, as we discovered in our lessons.

The children were each given a roll of toilet roll and told that every individual square would represent around 20,000,000 km. We then systematically went through each of the main planets and plotted them in their approximate locations based on this scale. We also did our best to accurately represent the size of each planet, with the Sun being about 9cm. The end results were fantastic and really helped to demonstrate just how massive the expanse of space is.

If you would like to see for yourself just how big space is but you don’t have the time (or the toilet roll), a similar project was conducted where the universe was scaled using pixels – with the moon being 1 pixel in size. The link can be found below:


We were also lucky enough to have a workshop last week where we tested different materials to see which would be best to make a spaceship out of. The different experiments that we conducted were really interesting and we had some fantastic results. We found that the best metal for a space craft would be aluminium (more specifically an aluminium alloy).

One response to “Science in Year 5”

  1. Kirsty (Nina's mum) says:

    Never knew there were so many uses for toilet rolls! Sounds like you learnt lots. The link was pretty amazing to make you think how far away everything is – thank you!

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