Astronomy

After completing Part 1, explore solar system formation, tides, and planetary rings using a spandex sheet.

This demonstration uses a model of the earth-moon-sun system to explain why eclipses occur. This demo is useful for illustrating why total solar eclipses are rare. 

This demonstration briefly explains the history of the universe using jars and colored beads. The jars represent matter/objects and the beads represent the composition of those objects.

Explore forces in a gravitational field using a spandex sheet and marbles.

This demonstration shows how gravity can be interpreted as the bending of spacetime due to massive bodies. Participants can identify gravity interactions, observe how the shape of the spandex corresponds to mathematical models, and make inferences based on object size, shape, and mass.

After completing this demonstration, present Part 2 to explore solar system formation, tides, and planetary rings. 

Construct a pinhole projector to introduce participants to the basic properties of light. This tool can then be used to view eclipses or other bright sources.