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Pluto aka Asteroid 134340

The grade 5 kids at the school were busy earlier this term building models of the solar system. Like many, Isaac’s was based on a spare hoola hoop, with planets of various sizes and colours hanging off it by fishing-wire.

Most of the models came home a few weeks ago, but the best were called back into school for last night’s school Science Fair. Isaac’s friend Peter’s was worthy, and I saw Peter and his mum Christine struggling to manoevre it back into the class room one day last week.

The big question though, was if Pluto should remain. When the models were built, it was still officially a planet. Since it has now been declared to be just an asteroid (number 134340), should the models have been revised?

Perhaps to reflect the whole conundrum, a sign should have been added to The Planet Formerly Known as Pluto, with a big question-mark on it?

Unfortunately I didn’t find out what the answer was on this, as Isaac was sick yesterday and we didn’t get to attend.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

3 replies on “Pluto aka Asteroid 134340”

How come we never had science fairs when I went to school?!

If I was a parent, I’d be encouraging my child to do the minimum work necessary that satisfies the rules of the project. After anticipating what others would do, I’d encourage them to scotch these ideas in favour of looking at it from a different angle.

Eg got a black bit of cardboard, made lots of pin pricks in it and shone a torch behind it. Then titled it ‘Solar System from a distance’ with an arrow pointing to our sun (amongst many).

Takes all of 5 minutes to do, though it is ‘high-risk’ compared to the conventional approach.

My brother is in grade two, and faced the same conundrum – after spending a week doing research and a project on his chosen planet (Pluto), he sent the finished project to his teacher, only to hear on the news that night about Pluto’s expulsion from planethood.

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