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Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activity: Star Life Models

The following text was written by Jeanne Bishop as part of a series of in-planetarium lesson plans.  Used with permission.

3.  TWO STAR LIFE MODELS.  One normal blue, one huge pink or orange, one normal pink, two small yellow, one small white, and two small pieces of black paper plate, marker, stapler, nail, string: Make a set of colored circles on the board showing the changes that happen to a sun-sized star.  Make a set showing the changes that happen to a supergiant star like Rigel or Betelgeuse.  Paper plates, stapled together in order, will show the star's changes in order during its life.  These will not be the true scale.  (Review scale, which was covered last session.)  Let a normal blue plate stand for Rigel, now in main life.  Let the small yellow plate stand for the sun, now in main life.  Label "Rigel" and "The Sun."  To Rigel's edge, staple the huge orange plate (this can be labeled "Betelgeuse"), and then a tiny circle of black plate.  To the sun's edge, staple the normal pink plate, then the inside piece of the small white plate, then the inside piece of the other small yellow plate, then the inside piece of the small pink plate, and finally, an equal-sized piece of black plate.  Years of time in each life stage can be labeled.  Punch a hole in the top (when all are held vertically) edge of the present "Rigel" and "The Sun".  Tie a piece of string through each hole, so each can be hung.  (I ask.  "If you were a star and had a choice of being either a star like Rigel or a star like the sun, which would you want to be?  Why?")

Contributed by Jeanne Bishop.

 GLPA Proceedings, 1993, p. 38.

 

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