The Thousand-Yard Model
or, The Earth as a Peppercorn
New edition 2012, amplified and with a
variety of illustrations (including cartoons) making this
popular product even more attractive!
Instructions for using common objects such as nuts to make a solar-system
model, over a distance of 1000 yards. It could be called a Model,
Walk, or Happening. Tested many times with groups of children, who
invariably are spellbound by the incredible distances. Since it
also leads to a vivid grasp of light-years, star sizes, etc., it
is an ideal opener to any astronomy course, for students of any
This description was twice printed in magazines, and was revised
and reprinted as a booklet because there are so many requests for
copies of it. The exercise (first devised for children in an Indian
reservation) has been performed annually or monthly by some astronomy
clubs and at the American Museum of Natural History, New York; has
been proposed as an installation in Portland, Oregon. and other
cities; and we know of it being performed in Peru, Guadeloupe, Iceland,
Japan, and along a kilometer of the Great Wall of China.
8.5 x 9.5 in., 26 pages, color painting on cover,
illustrations; cartoons by Ian Dicks. 1989; 5th printing with revisions
2004; 2nd edition 2012; reprinted 2014. ISBN 978-0-934546-21-8.
"It's all utterly convincing; you'll feel
it in your bones. Education at its best. The author should get a
prize" Whole Earth Review
". . . well worth the price, an
eye-opener for informal teachers, a piece of virtuoso pedagogy simple
and right from first to last" Scientific American
"I never had so much fun! It was
somewhere around Jupiter that the kids realized that something very
strange and awesome was taking place. If only I could capture and
bottle that moment. The look of wonder and awe was totally priceless."
David Rousso, Illinois