A Solar System Replica in downtown Bucharest

a solar system replica in downtown bucharest An unusual and interesting project is carried out in the center of Romania's capital city Bucharest


They thought they could even set a Guinness World Record with what they intended to do, but more than that they decided to experiment and play with other children as well. We are talking here about a project put together by the StartEvo Association, which, through the Kidibot education platform jointly with the Bucharest Astro-club's partners and the Science and Technology magazine managed to build a 1: 1, 392, 700,000 replica of our solar system in downtown Bucharest.

I met Constantin Ferşeta, vice-president of the StartEvo Association at kilometer zero in the Bucharest city center while he was trying to inflate a yellow balloon, one meter in diameter, which was going to represent our Sun. Here is what he told us.

Constantin Ferşeta: "We are trying to do here something children usually don't do in schools. An experiment. We are trying to put up some posts with balloons, which are representing the planets in our solar system. We have calculated their scale, so we start here with the Sun and are going to end in the Herastrau park, where we are putting up Pluto, the last planet in our solar system. Now, every planet is also representing a fruit so that children may understand better the huge distances in our solar system. We've also made an XL chart with all the information about the planets' dimensions their diameters and orbits. Then we calculated the real proportions of our objects and children are now going to plant these posts which will also comprise information about these planets. And if anyone wants they may cover all the distance between them so that they may get a clear picture of our solar system."

Constantin Ferșeta told us more about the aforementioned project

Constantin Ferşeta: "On this project we are working with children from the third to the eighth grade of various schools in Bucharest. Hopefully this miniature solar system will remain in place for a while and not get vandalized. But we also want this project to be shared by students from other cities, because it is an extraordinary project and it is very useful to see Mercury for instance, which is as small as peas and I have to walk a lot to place it at some distance from the Sun, or Pluto, which is so far away! In this project Pluto is a mustard seed, 4.5 kilometers from the Sun, so to say. So, children will have to walk for two hours around the city to see Pluto, the last planet in our solar system."

After having completed 12 orbits around the Sun, at the age of 12, Ştefan, one of the students involved with the project, told us that he was interested in exact sciences, such as physics, chemistry and mathematics, the foundation of all. 

Ştefan: "I've come here not only to learn something new but also to teach other children how to do it. I believe large-scale experiments aren't very much used in the process of teaching and I believe they should be used more. That's why I encourage people to do suchlike experiments because it is easier to learn things this way. At the beginning we mount the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and the last one, Pluto.

The 11 years-old Natalie would recommend experiments like these to anyone:

Natalie: "I am here for this experiment first and secondly, we'd like to celebrate the birthday of my colleague, Ştefan. I like this experiment because it is something different from what we do at school. They don't actually do experiments like these in schools nowadays, so it's an entirely different thing."

Matei is 13 years old and told us what motivated him to join the project

Matei: "I thought it was something interesting and I wanted to come and see for myself all the more so as there is a lot of action and exercise involved!"

I understand the idea of the project was made public last year and its first implementation was in Turda, western Romania, following a Zoom meeting.

Marian Neuman, an honorary member of the Bucharest Astroclub, the oldest organisation of this kind in our capital city, founded in 1908, shared with us the passion he has for astronomy and his motivation to participate in the project.

Marian Neuman: "For the benefit of children first, as we wanted to make children understand the real dimensions of space, the distances between the Sun and the planets. Because only through an experiment like this they will fully understand how things are in outer space. The Astroclub is more of an association for the adults who share this hobby, astronomy, but we have lately focused on this age bracket, on children. So we have created a smaller club for them that we called Astroclub junior and which has members from four to thirteen years old."

Mihai Popa, who is teaching geology and paleontology at the Bucharest University, has told the children about the connection between geology and planets.  

Mihai Popa: "As you know our solar system is a heap of star dust. And in billions of years this heap of star dust materialized in the planets we see today. Rocky planets are closer to the sun as you know, whereas the gas giants, which are lighter, have been pushed farther from it. Today we are going to speak about geology and astronomy because these two sciences are tightly connected. And you are going to learn why. Welcome everyone!"

And because I've learnt that our solar system is at half of its life, I thing I am going to follow the example of the organizers and make plans to move in the future to a different galaxy, far, far away. "





Publicat: 2022-08-02 12:34:00
Vizualizari: 1009