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Learners use a Styrofoam ball, sunlight, and the motions of their bodies to model the Moon's phases outdoors. An extension is to have children predict future Moon phases. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon.
This is an activity about the way the moon interacts with sunlight. Learners consider a ball, wrapped in aluminum foil, and experiment with a flashlight to make it appear bright. The children compare the foil-wrapped ball to a Moon globe and... (View More) discover that the Moon reflects very little of the light the falls on it, but still appears bright. The children construct their own globe of the Moon to take home with them by gluing a map template onto a tennis-ball. This activity is most effective when conducted in a dark area, such as outdoors at night or in a darkened room. This activity is part of Explore! Marvel Moon. (View Less)
In this activity, students compute the strengths of the gravitational forces exerted on the Moon by the Sun and by the Earth, and demonstrate the actual shape of the Moon's orbit around the Sun. The lesson begins with students' assumptions about the... (View More) motions of the Moon about the Earth and the Earth about the Sun, and then test their understanding using an experimental apparatus made from a cardboard or plywood disk and rope. This resource is from PUMAS - Practical Uses of Math and Science - a collection of brief examples created by scientists and engineers showing how math and science topics taught in K-12 classes have real world applications. (View Less)
This is an activity about the size and scale of the Sun-Earth system. Learners will take an imaginary trip to the Sun by comparing images of the Sun and Earth at different points in altitude above the Earth. This is to ultimately conceptualize the... (View More) spherical shape of the Earth, which is key to understanding the cause of the seasons. They will then produce a scale model of the Sun and Earth to reinforce the idea that the distance to the Sun is enormous compared with the size of the Earth. Finally, learners reflect on Question 3 of the Sun-Earth Survey, which is the prior activity in this set. This is Activity 3 in the Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) guide titled Real Reasons for Seasons: Sun-Earth Connections. An additional related activity, entitled Scale Models of the Earth-Moon System and the Solar System, is included in the CD-ROM enclosed with the resource guide. The resource guide is available for purchase from the Lawrence Hall of Science. This activity recommends use of an overhead projector, and requires use of a small scale model toy, such as a car or any other toy made to scale, and a rigid globe or large ball like a soccer ball or basketball. (View Less)