BA campus hosting a scale model of the solar system | Local News

BROKEN ARROW — Instead of waiting for Artemis to launch later this month, residents of Broken Arrow can hang out outside Creekwood Elementary School if they want to visit the moon.

Joined by city leaders and officials from Broken Arrow Public Schools, a group of retired and current teachers officially unveiled a model of the solar system along Albany Street on Tuesday as part of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education.

The exhibit is built on a scale of 1 to 10 billion of the solar system, with the walkway spanning approximately 2,000 feet from its entry point near the sun to its exit just beyond Pluto. In addition to scale models of the planets, sun, and asteroid belt, Voyage exhibits include informative storyboards with QR codes to further educate visitors about astronomy.

The Broken Arrow model extends east along Albany Street, with the sun, represented by a golden sphere the size of a grapefruit, at the west end of the Creekwood campus and Pluto at the exterior of Broken Arrow High School.

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Voyage’s original model was installed on the National Mall in Washington, DC, in October 2001. Similar models are already in place in Kansas City, Missouri; Houston; Boulder, Colorado; and Corpus Christi, Texas. However, the Broken Arrow model has a distinct feature that others cannot claim.

“We are the only community that has fully paid for this with core funding,” said planning committee member Steve Cowen. “Everyone else had at least one corporate or university sponsor.”

For Matt Montgomery, Tuesday’s grand opening had added significance. His mother, Sandy Montgomery, a retired BAPS teacher, was one of the organizers of the project. She died in May and one of the planets, Jupiter, is named in her honor.

“It was his passion,” he said. “She had a lot of joy and juice with the people she worked with…and a lot of inspiration from them who helped drive her. It was very important to her. She also loved children, so it’s a fitting ending for her not to be here. She wanted to see the end of it… but it’s still good that it’s happening. She would be very happy.

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