Solar System Project Ideas

Instructor: Leah Salyer
The study of solar systems is an integral part of the science curriculum in most classrooms. Our solar system is traditionally the main focus of study, and quite often teachers will assign a solar system project. There are many fun and creative ways to approach a project of this nature. Check out some examples of ideas below.

Shadow Box

Using black paint and styrofoam balls, a solar system can be recreated in a shadow box, much like a diorama. Simply find an appropriately sized box and paint it black. Use the styrofoam balls and paint to recreate the look of the planets in our solar system. Wooden skewers or something similar can be used to make the styrofoam balls stand upright. Glow in the dark stars can be attached to the back of the shadow box, or you may also use glow in the dark paint to paint stars behind the planets.

Solar System Poster

Students can create a representation of the solar system on a piece of black poster paper. For this project, students will need black poster board or paper and paint for the planets. The student will paint and label the solar system on their poster board to show their knowledge of the solar system.

Glow in the Dark Solar System

Students can use black fabric and glow in the dark paint to create a unique solar system project. Students will need bowls or other similar items that can be used for tracing. Simply trace the bowl that matches the planet size and paint with glow in the dark paint. Allow to dry and you will have an amazing solar system project that glows in the dark!

Solar System Model

To create a solar system model, you will need a large circular piece of cardboard, string, paint and additional cardboard or card stock material. Start out by cutting out and decorating your planets from the extra cardboard or card stock material. Next, use the large cardboard circle to create a base from which your planets will hang. Find the center of the circle first (for the location of the sun) and then, using a compass, find where all of the other planets will be located in relation to the sun. Once all of these are marked, punch a hole in the correct location for each planet. Use your string to connect your planets to the cardboard circle they will hang from. When you are finished, hang your model, so that the planets are suspended.

Other Resources offers other resources that may be used by teachers and students used to enhance any solar system lesson. Take a look at the links below when planning a lesson on the solar system.

What is a Solar System? - Planets & Models

Solar System Overview

Facts About the Solar System: Lesson for Kids

Solar System Lesson Plan

Major Characteristics of the Planets in the Solar System

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