Grade 6 Uplands students Shawn Devcic, Logan Myers, and Brome Hansen dig a hole in which to place the informational plaque for the Earth along the Grand Trunk Pathway Oct. 18. Margaret Speirs photo

Solar system starts to take shape along Grand Trunk Pathway

Uplands Grade 6 students presented idea to city council earlier this year

Uplands Elementary Grade 6 students dug holes alongside the Grand Trunk Pathway last week, taking the next step in placing information about our planets to show just how big our solar system is.

The idea to pare down the planets’ sizes and relative distances arose in April when the then-Grade 6 class told city council that science textbooks show all the planets on the same page, which is inaccurate to scale and unhelpful.

A scale model of 1 metre to 1,000,000 km the students calculated the solar system would measure 5.9 kilometres from the sun’s centre to the outer orbit of Pluto, which approximates the 5.9 billion kilometres of its real size.

Along with Tony Walker, the students asked council to support their plan to put plaques along the trail showing a more realistic distance between the planets, which would help with understanding the full scale of the solar system, and maybe encourage people to get some exercise to see them, and attract tourists as well.

“You know, walk your dog to Jupiter,” Walker said to councillors.

Last week, students visited locations along the pathway to dig holes for the plaques, which lay flush with the sidewalk and grass to minimize the inconvenience for city maintenance crews.

The first six planets have their own plaques laid out while the last three planets, Pluto included, will have their information displayed on signs along the highway.

Students are also working on a website about the solar system, which teacher Kasey Acton said will hopefully be done in November.

As told to city council earlier this year, here are the locations of the planets in the solar system as laid out along the Grand Trunk Pathway and further west:

The solar system laid out to scale starting from the corner of Eby St. and Hwy 16 at a scale of 1 metre = 1,000,000 km:

Sun: Eby and Hwy 16

Mercury: Kal Tire

Venus: Sunshine Inn

Earth: Sherwood Brewery

Mars: Sandman Inn

Asteroid belt: Golder and Associates->Dodge car dealership

Jupiter: Kenney St.

Saturn: 100 m east of Hwy113

Uranus: Rainbow Inn

Neptune: Kitsumkalum Hall

Pluto: Mighty Moe highway pullout

And the nearest star to Earth, Proximi Centauri: circumference of the Earth.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


William Mckay, Stephanie Monkman, Brandon Stehling, and Grace Lukasser get ready to lift the plaque for Mars into its place along the Grand Trunk Pathway. Margaret Speirs photo

William Mckay, Stephanie Monkman, Brandon Stehling, and Grace Lukasser heave the plaque for Mars into its hole under the watchful eyes of Tony Walker and teacher Kasey Acton, holding umbrella. Margaret Speirs photo

William Mckay, Stephanie Monkman, Brandon Stehling, and Grace Lukasser lower Mars into place. Margaret Speirs photo

Emma Buck with the Spirit Bear statue on the Grand Trunk Pathway. Margaret Speirs photo

Mark Robinson, Corvin Anderson and Ryland Pritchard take a break on the rail car near the Chill Soda Shop. Margaret Speirs photo

Just Posted

(File image)
Vehicle collides with propane line causing explosion in Thornhill

Driver sustained severe burns, was taken to Lower Mainland in air ambulance

The plan to build a staircase to the Bench includes a channel to more easily transport bicycles up and down. (Photo courtesy City of Terrace)
Staircase to Bench subject of City grant application

Would connect lower Eby St. to upper Eby St.

The car was trapped, with its driver inside, in a ditch off Hirsch Creek Main near Onion Lake overnight Monday (Oct. 19). Oct. 20, 2020. Kitimat RCMP photo.
Man found after spending overnight stuck in car in a ditch near Onion Lake

Kitimat RCMP said the man was stuck there overnight for about 10 hours

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals. (Black Press Composite Photo)
B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read