Year 8 have created out of this world models of the solar system as part of one of their chemistry homework topics on space.

Students were tasked with designing a model (preferably 3D) about all the planets of our solar system, making sure that they positioned each planet in the correct order from the sun. They were given one week to do this and when they returned with their completed models they needed to do a short verbal presentation to the class, using their model to help explain the positioning of our planets and a few facts about at least one of the planets.

At Walton, we often use models with science to help students understand the nature of science, particularly for GCSE and A Level where they have to learn complex processes, cycles and theories. At key stage 3, however, we start a little more basic to get the students used to thinking, designing and communicating, which are all key skills that are needed to help reinforce their understanding of science and skills which will help them to understand the more complex models that they will come across as they progress through the curriculum.

Science teacher , Ms Edmonds, said: “I was absolutely thrilled with the engagement of my year 8 students and the overall quality of the models produced – they had all clearly put a lot of time and effort into their models. Everyone in the class produced and presented their models which was fantastic! I was particularly pleased by the fact that each model was different which clearly demonstrates that the students were working independently on their models and all had different ideas for how they’d make and present them.

“When we started this space topic, students within the class could name a few planets within our solar system but no-one could name them all and no-one had any idea about where the planets were in terms of position from the sun. By the end of this project, all students could confidently name all the planets of our solar system and the majority were getting the positioning of the planets correct. So overall, I think that this project has been a great success and has been a fantastic showcase of how great our students are at engaging with their work and rising to any challenge we set them.”