Planet Project time.
Parents don’t we love project time? It’s never their project but OURS. A research paper on the Solar System was assigned about a month ago. Sir R was assigned Jupiter. As I read the FIVE sheets (front and back) of instructions, my head began to swell. I was getting a headache and anxious at the same time. What did I know in detail about Jupiter? Well, not much. Off to the library we went.
For the research portion, I helped Sir R with the introduction and conclusion. He wrote the body of the paper all by himself. All I had to do was proofread before he typed it. That was the easy part for me.
BUT OMG!!! Boy did we (or do I mean I) had a hard time trying to figure out what we’d do for Visual Aid and Oral Presentation portion of the project. I spent weeks thinking about it. I even tried Dr. Google. To my amazement Dr. Google wasn’t much help. Thought, I did learn plenty about Jupiter 2 Spaceship from the movie Lost in Space.
I did find one snippet on making a model but it was all in words. Who does that? Or am I the only one that needs a pictorial? For those who are like-minded. I want to share the how-to instructions for making a model of the planet Jupiter.
* Styrofoam ball, 8-inch diameter (can be purchased as Wal-mart in the crayon section)
* 2-inch diameter Styrofoam ball
* (2) 1-inch diameter Styrofoam balls
*1/2-in Styrofoam ball
* Jar, 2 juice bottles, and 2 soda bottles
* Image of Jupiter
* Cover Stain primer
* Acrylic paint: Engine Red, rust, ivory, terra cotta, yellow, dark gray, light gray, brown
* Foam craft brushes
* foam blotter brush
* Dowel rod, 1/2 inch diameter by 12 (cheaper at Michael’s)
* drywall screw
* screwdriver (electrical screwdriver best)
* plywood 12-inch by 12-inch in length by 3/4 thick (Michael’s has this by the dowels)
* thin wire, such as floral wire
* glitter glue (optional)
Ready? Set? Let’s Create!!
Place the 8-inch Styrofoam ball on the top of the neck of a clean jar. Place smaller Styrofoam balls on juice bottles and soda bottle. We used drop-ceiling hooks to hold the balls securely as we painted. It depends on your skill level and how confident you feel in painting the Styrofoam ball without it rolling off the neck of the bottle.
Begin to primer with cover stain. This will keep you from having to paint on additional coats of paint and help the acrylic paint to stick to the styrofoam.
See how happy one gets when they use Cover Stain Primer?
Allow to dry for about 2-3 hours. As you can see you can also use a wine bottle, spray bottle, or an empty container of honey to hold the Styrofoam balls.
Allow Cover Stain to dry. While waiting, measure the dowel to 12-inches in length and cut it with a small hand-saw. This is a 2-person step so, I didn’t get to photograph it. Locate the center of the 12×12 inch plywood and mark your center on BOTH sides. On the top place the dowel on your maker. On the bottom, fasten the screw to the marker using an electric drill. You do this manually but it will take a bit.
Then, paint the dowel and plywood black.
We added glitter to mimic the stars. It doesn’t take away from the model if you don’t want to add glitter.
Using a foam brush, spread the glitter glue.
Using the image of Jupiter and it’s moons. Paint away…
Paint your 8-inch Styrofoam ball of Jupiter with paint in an unevenly striped pattern with the red, rust, ivory, terra cotta colored acrylic paints. Refer to the image and attempt to recreate, as best you can, the striped pattern of Jupiter’s surface. Lighten the brown and orange paints with white paint so the shades vary. Don’t forget the Great Red Spot, Jupiter’s famous storm.
Paint the 2-inch diameter Styrofoam ball to look like Io with yellow and brown mottled paint. Add a few small dots of red paint.
Paint the 1-inch diameter balls to look like Europa and Ganymede with mottled brown and grayish colors.
Paint the smallest ball to resemble Callisto, a dark mottled brown and gray.
Allow to dry and turn over to paint the bottom. This will prevent smearing.
Once dry, place the Jupiter model on the dowel. Push the bottom center of the Styrofoam down onto the dowel about 3 inches. Remove the hole and pour a bit of glue in the hole created by the dowel. Allow to glue to set for a few minutes before placing the Jupiter model onto the dowel.
Cut the wire into the following sizes: one 4-inch length, one 5-inch length, one 6-inch length, one 8-inch length. Push one end of the 5-inch wire into the Europa moon. Push one end of the 6-inch wire into the Ganymede moon. Push the end of the 8-inch wire into the Callisto moon. Finally, push the other ends of wires into the Jupiter model so that the moons are spaced out around it (refer to an image of Jupiter and it’s moons to help you decide on placement).
We had some wire left over so, I decide to label the planet and it’s moons.
Here we are. Final product, ready to be presented in class.
A diagram was also added to help explain the regions of Jupiter.