Last week, 5th graders used spectroscopes and glass tube electrifiers to identify the elements that make up the stars and planets of our solar system. By seeing the colors that those elements reflect in gaseous form, the students were able to identify the elements. In other words, from right here on planet Earth, the students can tell what planets are made up of what elements! This is a rapidly growing field of science and holds much potential for a great career for our budding scientists!
The students also spent time mapping the solar system. The fifth graders cut out scaled planets, and then tried to represent the relative distances from the sun of each planet. They began in the church parking lot, but soon realized that in order to truly represent the distances in the scale they were using they would need much more space, as their map would need to stretch out way beyond Moraga.