Imagine that a Timbit is the size of the Earth to scale and then ask yourself how big would the sun be in comparison.
That’s the question five Grade 6 students from Heidi Siebring’s class at Uplands asked Terrace city council at its meeting last night.
The sun would be the size of a hula hoop and if the Earth’s location was at city hall, the sun would be at Save-on Foods; however, science textbooks show both on the same page, which is not very helpful since it’s inaccurate about size and distance, students told council.
The students’ plan to fix the problem is to lay the solar system to scale on the Grand Trunk Pathway using paint and chalk, and in the future put up informational plaques, at no cost to the city, on the side of trail.
“By laying it out and painting it on the Grand Trunk Pathway, we can have people walk and understand the full scale of the solar system,” said local resident Tony Walker who is working with the students on the idea, adding that it could also be part of tourism and people’s exercise on the pathway.
“You know, walk your dog to Jupiter.”
The students watch Star Trek and Star Wars and how do you get to the next star? You just transport yourself there immediately, he said.
If you put it to scale: if the sun is at My Mountain Co-op on the eastern end of the pathway, the Earth is at the Sherwood Brewery, and the next closest star to Earth involves going west past Prince Rupert, over the Pacific Ocean, past Asia and Europe, back across Canada to Terrace.
The paint and chalk marking the solar system would be permanent and require no maintenance and not get in the way of city maintenance crews either cleaning snow off the walkway or cutting grass in summer, added Walker.
Students also like to put a page on the city website about the solar system.