This project uses Kansas’s geography to educate students and the public about the scope and scale of our solar system. For students, building the Kansas Solar System is an experiential learning opportunity with professional application. For the Kansas Studies Institute, this is an interdisciplinary project-based learning experience for students and instructors that combines both transfer and career/technical programs while also integrating JCCC students and faculty into broader service to and education in the state. Students create a to-scale version of the solar system app that maps over the state. Users can determine their position within the Kansas Solar System relative to any location in the state, with JCCC as the “sun.” Users learn about the scale of the solar system from any location in the state, as well as the relative size of the solar system’s objects based upon that location. Across the state, the app locates users in the solar system, tracks when they reach the orbit of each object, and provides facts about the objects.
Tai Edwards, Director, Kansas Studies Institute