SIZING UP THE UNIVERSE from the Smithsonian Institution is web-based interactive that helps students make comparisons between objects found in outer space.
Users are presented with objects found in space and explore the relative sizes and distances. Familiar objects such as beachballs and cookies help students visualize relationships. Google maps allows students to make place-based connections and comparisons.
Students are taken step-by-step through the universe starting with the Earth and Moon. Users are kept active by selecting objects and making decisions. Concise, informative feedback is provided at each stage. Short videos provide engaging information.
Librarians will find this website to be a useful way to help students visualize sizes in space. Both science and math teachers will find practical applications for this online interactive. Pair the website with books and videos exploring relative size and distance. Design a learning station with hands-on opportunities to size and distance experiments.
To visit the website, go to http://learning.si.edu/idealabs/sizinguptheuniverse.