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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.
The 9-session NASA Family Science Night program invites middle school children and their families to discover the wide variety of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics being performed at NASA and in everyday life. Family Science Night... (View More) programs explore various themes on the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and the Universe through fun, hands-on activities, including at-home experiments. Information about Family Science Night implementation and support resources, including the facilitator's guide, are available by registering on the Family Science Night Facilitators website (see Related & Supplemental Resources for link). (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)