Global menu

Out of This World

  • Planétarium
How old would you be by the time you reached the Moon and the other planets in our solar system?
Photo: NASA, ESA, J. Clarke (Boston University), and Z. Levay (STScI)
Saturn Aurora

Tabs group


Description of the activity

This fascinating exercise will help students grasp the solar system’s true dimensions and hone their math skills (using fractions and decimals, dividing, rounding off, and converting units). Astronomy gives students an excellent opportunity to apply math to real problems. These activities are a good example of exploring mathematics with a specific aim in mind.

Out of This World is a wonderful complement to the activity The Solar System in Your Neighbourhood, which involves building a scale model of the solar system. Indeed, both activities help students envision the enormous distances separating the planets in the solar system.

Equipment needed by the student

For each student (or pair):

  • Out of This World handout
  • Special Delivery handout
  • Calculator (optional)


Make enough copies of the activity handouts for everyone.


Adapted from Out of This World, copyright © 1994 by the AIMS Education Foundation, 1595 South Chestnut Avenue, Fresno, California 93702-4706; (209) 255-6396

Category of activity

  • Preparatory activity

Sub-category of activity

  • Class activity

Grade level

  • Elementary cycle three
  • Secondary cycle one
  • Secondary cycle two

Number of students per group

Individual activity or in pairs


One or two 60-minute periods

Activity Sheets

Out of This World[PDF - 108.6 KB - 7 pages]

Schedules for teachers

Out of This World (teacher's copy)[PDF - 63.82 KB - 2 pages]

Add this