Just about this time last year, we ran a program with BPAstroKids doing scaled solar systems. During our programming, our local children’s librarian mentioned the idea of creating a scaled model that was much larger, one that would span our entire island. The idea grew it’s own legs and ran away with plenty of work, and is now just being harnessed in the creation of Bainbridge Island’s very first scaled solar system model, with the added bonus that the model is a geocache hunt!
Over the last year, I have been working away in the background creating custom planetary stamps, designing passport books to collect those stamps in, and even purchasing a whole bunch of patches that people can turn their completed passport books in for.
Our scaled solar system model has a 5 foot Sun hidden away in our island’s town center, Winslow. Visitors and residents can easily walk to the terrestrial rocky planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. It takes a bit of a hike to get to Jupiter and Saturn, while Uranus, Neptune, and Venus will need a car to get to. Each of the planetary stamps is housed in a small black treasure chest which also contains ink and blank passport books. As families and hunters travel through the solar system they will even find some Finder’s Rewards. They can take their stamped passport book to some local businesses to redeem free goodies like frozen yogurt.
It’s been a long time planning, but I am so excited how it is turning out and can’t wait for it to go live on May 1st!