DIY SOLAR SYSTEM – Virtual Science Space
It’s a classic staple of any classroom project – at some point in your schooling, you’re going to be asked to build your own Solar System!
There are MANY ways to build your own solar system.
- You could head straight to Spotlight to find polystyrene balls and paints that you can hang from some kind of mobile.
- You could make tiny little planets and place them on your street to make a SCALE model! (Space is BIG guys).
- OR you could try and do something a bit different and get creative.
We decided to do something different.
NASA has been flying probes past our nearest neighbours and gathering data for decades. A lot of the time, they’re specifically collecting visual information like photos, but also invisible information like the way radio waves change due to specific magnetic interference. A quick internet search a few weeks ago revealed that clever and creative scientists have changed that information into stuff we can hear. So, we took that inspiration and decided to figure out a way to make a solar system we could hear!
How to make your own VISUAL solar system that you can HEAR.
To create our solar system we could hear, we dug into our box of weird and wonderful micro-controllers to find this one, created by Bare Conductive. It’s a touch board that you can program to play specific sounds when you connect various circuits using their specially-formulated conductive paint. In order for this project to work, you will need Bare Conductive paint as well as a micro-controller.
What you need:
- Cardboard or a stiff surface you can paint and affix micro-controllers to.
- Paint (whatever colours you would like to make your solor system beautiful
- Conductive paint – like the one supplied by Bare Conductive
How to make it:
Step 1: We then painted our solar system, using poster paints and a large piece of cardboard.
Step 2: We then followed the instructions in the kit to hook everything up to the electrodes I wanted. What I got was a slightly spooky but definitely unique take on a classic.
Be sure to check out the live stream where Dr. Joh explains how it all works below! (This will be uploaded once the livestream is complete – head to our FB page to join in at 10.30am)
Some other things you can try out:
Makey-makey: If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper and easier to use, give the Makey makey a go! It’s amazing and you can explore how circuits and basic electronics work if you’ve never tried it before!
Arduino uno boards – If you’re looking for something a bit trickier, you can build your own capacitive touch sensors! Here’s a quick tutorial to get you started! Warning: this is not for the faint of heart.