Learning about the universe with KFC
October 22, 2021
Year 10 Science current topic of study is ‘The Universe’.
This lesson taught students how to use parallax – this is how astrophysicists measure the distances from our sun to far-away stars in the Universe. All they need to know is the parallax angle and the distance between the Earth and the Sun at two points during the year. With a little trigonometry (thank you Ancient Greeks!), the unknown distance to the far-away star can be accurately calculated.
Our activity was a fun way to simulate how astrophysicists use parallax. In the activity, the prize (a KFC lunch supplied by our wonderful Science Department!) represented a distant star, and the students were asked to calculate the distance between their given station (representing our Sun) and the KFC bucket. The team of would-be astrophysicists that measured the most accurate distance using parallax won the coveted prize!