My Trip to Jupiter
What's the Point?
For each group of 10 to 20 children:
- Miscellaneous craft items such as:
- Colored pencils or markers
- Cotton balls or cotton batting
- Small bubble wrap
- Plastic wrap in different colors
- Sand or sandpaper
- Aluminum foil
- Metallic pens
- Tissue paper
- Glow-in-the-dark stickers or paints
- Construction paper
- Yarn, string, ribbon
- Optional: scrapbook scissors, embossers, punches, etc.
- Optional: 5–10 (22" x 28") brightly-colored, standard-sized poster boards
- His/her My Trip to Jupiter Journal
- 1 pencil or pen
1. Explain that the children will select from the available craft materials to represent Jupiter's features in a scrapbook to take home or on a poster to exhibit at the library. Using the information they recorded in their journals, they will summarize their investigations into Jupiter's size, density and gravity, atmosphere, magnetic field, interior, and origins; each topic will be a separate page or two in their scrapbooks. Each page can have a crafty depiction of what they learned and key words or sentences that capture the most important information about Jupiter's properties and features. Prompt them to identify the most appropriate materials (for instance, older children can determine that Jupiter's liquid metallic hydrogen layer would be better depicted by metallic pens or aluminum foil rather than sandpaper or cotton balls).
2. Optional: Invite older children, ages 10 to 13, to arrange their scrapbook pages or posters in order of the layers. An assembled scrapbook might showcase Jupiter’s layers from the perspective of going deeper into the planet:
- Magnetic field
- Molecular hydrogen layer
- Liquid metallic hydrogen inner layer
- Rocky core
Ask the children to describe what experiences during their "trips" to Jupiter stood out to them. Share that the Juno mission will arrive at Jupiter in 2016. The pressures inside Jupiter are far too high for Juno to actually enter Jupiter's atmosphere. Its instruments will collect data that will allow scientists to infer details about its interior, and they will make direct measurements of the atmosphere's composition and the magnetosphere. From its unique polar orbit, Juno will observe Jupiter with its instruments and investigate all of the features we described today. Scientists will use that information to design computer that represent the various features of Jupiter, just as we did in selecting materials for our scrapbooks.