Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walking Tour of the Solar System

Several months ago I wrote a Target Field Trip Grant for the seventh grade at SVMS to visit a walking tour of the Solar System. This is a one ten billionth scale model of the solar system starting with the Sun at 13th and Baltimore and ending with the Voyager spacecraft at Union Station. To help make this tour as good as possible (imagine 90 seventh graders walking in downtown Kansas City with nothing to occupy their attention) I created an audio tour to listen to as we walked the entire length of the tour. The audio tour ended up being 15 tracks long ranging in run time from three minutes to a little over eight. They included a lot of information about each planet and they included a lot of real NASA audio of launches, moonwalkers, and a couple from astronauts that I recorded while I was at the National Space Symposium. The tracks also included Kansas City history. My brother helped write the scripts for these sections. It was amazing what I learned while putting this together. I am my own worst critic. Having said that, there are a few things that I would change. The second half of the tour was pretty good. The tracks flowed well and timed out about right for each stop. The first half of the tour was a little rougher. The tracks were too long and need to be fixed. My brother and I are planning on revamping it this summer. Here are a few pictures from the tour as If you would like to download the tracks they are available by going to my classroom website. Click on the Solar System Tour link. If you do download it and especially if you walk the tour, send me an email and let me know what you think.

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