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Haddon Heights teacher takes remote learning to the streets

By Lauren Nasto-Maunz


Educators everywhere are working to make remote learning work for their students. Since I live in the community where I work, I decided to bring science to my students right outside my door.

If you drive or walk past my house, you will see a scale solar system model to illustrate the relative sizes of and distances between the planets and the results are stunning!

The planets are so far apart that it went up the street, stretching from Haddon Township to Haddonfield and back. Based on a 36-inch sun, the Earth is less than a centimeter!! (8.3mm to be exact)

I put the planet names in the street so that they wouldn’t be missed by fast-moving bikers. Every planet also had a homemade sign written on upcycled paper and stuck in the ground with chopsticks to add fun facts, like how Saturn would float in water or how Uranus is the only planet that rotates on its side.

Kids were able to follow along at their own pace – far from each other – while getting some exercise and fresh air. 

Anyone can make their own street or driveway model of the solar system using this link.

Be sure to add the moon because it is crazy to see how close we are to the moon, where we’ve been, and far we are from Mars, where we want to go next!!

When you visit Earth on the trail it is fun to have the kids stand where they think the moon would be before revealing how close it actually is to the Earth.  

Another project that I tried with my street involved plant propagation. I gave my wandering dude a trim and placed the cuttings out front. There was a sign next to the cuttings encouraging neighbors to take one and place it in water to watch the roots grow before planting it in soil.

The first batch went pretty quickly so I’m hoping people enjoy bringing a little nature inside during these stressful times and that we’ll have a neighborhood full of healthy new plants!  

For my Green living students I am making “‘how to” videos so that they can make their own cleaning products while they’re at home, a project I’m sure their parents will love! 

Lauren Nasto-Maunz is a teacher of Physics and Chemistry at Haddon Heights Jr./Sr. High School.