Monday, October 24, 2016

Space Systems Abound!

We are beginning week two of our study of space systems.
Students have been having a few experiences to help them understand concepts such as Apparent Motion and the Predictableness of Shadows over time.

Students created a Sky Viewer to help them understand that while it seems like the "sun" is moving across the sky, it is really our earth that is moving through day and night (one rotation of the earth on its axis).

We used some of the resources from the website Mystery Science to develop these ideas!

 The website has many video clips and simulations to help us see the idea of Apparent Motion in a few contexts.
 Who set the first clock?  A few students knew that a long time ago people may have used a sundial to tell time based on the predictable shadows created by the sun. Did you know why the day was divided into 12 hours? The early Egyptians were responsible for this division of time as they would count the segments of their four fingers which made twelve.  Thanks to Mystery Science for the activity!

Students were impressed with how accurate the sundials were in natural and manmade light. 

Facing north, we tracked shadows throughout the day. Students enjoyed revisiting the shadows on day two to discover that the shadow was present at the same time as day one. The length of the shadow and the position of the sun in the sky were topics of discussion as well.

Students will continue to observe and record data to determine patterns from nature!