If the Sun was the size of a Football – TES Maths Resource of the Week

What is it?
Two reasonably painful topics to teach in maths (for me, anyway) are units of measurement and standard form. Fuse this with the eternal pressure to make maths as interesting and “real worldy” as possible, and the ever-present visual displays create by members of the Science and English department that dominate the school corridors. If only there was a resource that could kill three rather annoying birds with one lovely stone… Well, fear not, because here it is! “If the sun was the size of a football” is an engaging, fun, challenging look at how we could represent the size of the planets if we used a consistent scale based around the sun being a football. From this hook, a whole manner of useful maths topics are covered. And you might just get some decent display work thrown into the mix as well!

How can it be used?
The author has kindly provided detailed notes and pictures explaining how they ran the activity in their school. This could easily be a whole class or even whole year project. The Science department could be brought on board. There is even potential to get PE involved, laying out a scale model of the solar system across the yard, with students sprinting light years between the planets. Or this can be kept very small scale (excuse the pun), and used as an interesting, theoretical look at the size of the planets, and why standard from and scale are important in the real world.

Thanks for sharing!
Craig Barton

View the author’s other resources