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Space Walk comes to Oshkosh neighborhood

3:10 PM, Apr. 30, 2013  |  Comments
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Just how far is the Earth from the Sun? Relatively close compared to the vastness of the outer planets. "We couldn't believe how close together the first five planets are and how far away the last four are," said Joshua Rush, a young astronomer who is sharing his science project with his community.

Second grader Joshua Rush created a scale model solar system and put it up around his neighborhood on Scarlet Oak Trail. Joshua is home-schooled and this project is the culmination of his studies of Astronomy over the past year. The frequent walkers around Hickory Hills Estates will have the chance to see the size and distance of a planet in proportion as well as read a bit of interesting information about each major object in our solar system. Joshua's mom, Lori, is his lead teacher. Lori looks for cumulative, interdisciplinary projects that allow her family to pull all the pieces of an academic unit together. In addition to giving the kids a "mental hook" to hang their studies on, they make fun memories together. Joshua's younger siblings helped him paint the planets and his dad, Jeremy, took the lead in teaching him to use a measuring wheel. Creating the scale model solar system gave Joshua an opportunity to summarize what he had learned in Astronomy, learn measurement and conversion skills, mapping skills, practice letter writing and neighborhood citizenship. Sometimes, children are the best teachers though, because when it came time to deliver the letters to their ne! ighbors asking permission to put up a solar system sign in their yard, Lori thought they could just leave the letters if the neighbors didn't answer the door. Joshua insisted that "it is always best to talk to people face to face," and they had to come back another time. The Rush family found their neighbors to be gracious and every home heartily agreed to the solar system.

Joshua plans to leave his solar system up for two weeks and invites anyone to come and take a walk in space.

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