People standing over a scaled solar system model.
The Solar System on a Scale
Trinity professors build and distribute scale solar system models

Before you experience the total eclipse in April, how would you like to see it happen on a 1:1 billion scale? A grant from NASA will make this possible, as Trinity University professors help local teachers show their students a bite-sized understanding of the April 8 eclipse. 

Trinity’s multidisciplinary team of professors Ellen Barnett (education), Jennifer Steele (physics and astronomy), Les Bleamaster (geosciences), and Ryan Hodge (Makerspace) have made and distributed boxed models of the eclipse and our solar system to local schools and libraries. These “Models in a Box” contain a 1:1 billion scale model of the Solar System designed, printed, and produced using Trinity’s state-of-the-art Makerspace equipment, along with eclipse glasses and lesson plan materials in English and Spanish. 

Trinity University undergraduate science and math majors pursuing STEM teaching will also use the kits to teach eclipse lessons to local middle and high school students. Lessons are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a framework for removing barriers to equity and engaging all learners.

The box models were made possible through funding from the American Astronomical Society and the NSF.

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