Project Description

Students create a motorized rotating model of the Sun, Earth, and Moon, bringing to life their learnings about planetary and lunar orbits. The model they create, called an Orrery, teaches students about how the relationship between our planet and other celestial bodies affect life on Earth, and how those relationships change throughout the day, month, and year. Using calculations from gear ratios and motor speed, students will program their Orrery to move the Earth and Moon certain time intervals such as by month or by year. They learn how the movement of the Earth and Moon affects what we see in the sky, the temperature on Earth, and the movement of shadows.

three students working on a planetary pathway

Key Concepts

Arduino, Axial tilt, Circuit, Conditionals, Control algorithm, Control flow, Duration, Eclipse, Electricity, Encoder, Gas giants, Gears, Jumper wires, LED, Orbit, Orrery, Phases of the moon, Program, PWM, Rocky planets, Rotation, Servo, Tidal lock

Essential Question

How can we create a model of the solar system that demonstrates the movements of the Earth and Moon and how that impacts what we see in the sky and feel on Earth?

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mechanic

Summary of Standards

SAMPLE ALIGNMENT GRADE 5
Computer Science Teaching Association Standards (CSTA)
Students will describe how internal and external parts of computing devices work together, use data to highlight cause-and-effect relationships, create programs that use variables, and create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.

Common Core ELA
Students will learn new content specific vocabulary, participate in collaborative group discussions, draw conclusions based on key ideas expressed during discussion, and summarize information that is presented through media.

Common Core Math
Students will work with fractions and represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in a coordinate plane.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Students will support arguments that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun is compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth; and that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. Students will learn about the universe and its stars and the Earth and the solar system.

Don’t see your standards here? Contact us to find out how this project aligns to your grade(s).

Summary of Standards

SAMPLE ALIGNMENT GRADE 5
Computer Science Teaching Association Standards (CSTA)
Students will describe how internal and external parts of computing devices work together, use data to highlight cause-and-effect relationships, create programs that use variables, and create programs that include sequences, events, loops, and conditionals.

Common Core ELA
Students will learn new content specific vocabulary, participate in collaborative group discussions, draw conclusions based on key ideas expressed during discussion, and summarize information that is presented through media.

Common Core Math
Students will work with fractions and represent real world and mathematical problems by graphing points in a coordinate plane.

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
Students will support arguments that differences in the apparent brightness of the sun is compared to other stars is due to their relative distances from the Earth; and that the gravitational force exerted by Earth on objects is directed down. Students will learn about the universe and its stars and the Earth and the solar system.

Don’t see your standards here? Contact us to find out how this project aligns to your grade(s).

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