Item MO061003: If a student is studying how long it would take a spaceship to go between different planets in the solar system, his model should accurately represent the relative distances between the planets, but does not need to accurately represent other aspects of the solar system.

A student makes a simple model of the solar system by using a basketball to represent the sun. He then puts a series of ping pong balls in a line to represent each of the planets. The ping pong balls are spaced evenly about one foot apart from each other.

He wants to use the model to compare how long it would take for a spaceship to travel between different planets. How should he change the model to help him decide?

  1. He should paint the balls so that each ball looks more like the planet it represents.
  2. He should add a spaceship to the model to represent the spaceship traveling to the planets.
  3. He should use different sized balls to represent the planets so that the relative sizes of the planets are represented.
  4. He should spread the balls out differently so that the relative distances between the planets are represented.

Distribution of Responses

Chart showing distrubtion of responses for Item MO061003

Percent of students responding correctly

Grades 6–862%
Grades 9–1280%
Primary Language is English70%
Primary Language is not English62%

View data table