Today’s lesson focused on celestial mechanics, or the interactions between the Earth, Sun and Moon. Did you know that the reason that we experience seasons is due to the Earth’s tilt? In the northern hemisphere, we are actually closer to the sun in the winter than in summer. Using a flashlight and dodge ball, students were able to see why the sunlight in New England is weaker in the winter and stronger in the summer. After learning about seasons, we talked about our moon, Luna, which is Earth’s only natural satellite. Students investigated the 8 phases of the moon and learned an easy mnemonic device, “DOC,” to help identify between a growing (waxing) and fading (waning) moon. The next time you have a clear view of the night sky, ask your child to tell you whether the moon is in a waxing phase or waning phase!
Finally, students used balls and flashlights to demonstrate the differences between solar and lunar eclipse and we discussed the effects of the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth’s daily high and low tides.
Visit this link to watch a 5 minute video about seasons. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DD_8Jm5pTLk