The students should now be able to explain the reasons that we have seasons and why we have day and night. In order to learn about the seasons and day and night the students have done a lot of work with graphing and interpreting data. They have compared differences in shadow lengths during different parts of the year and discovered that the longest shadows are found in the winter, while the shortest shadows are found in the summer. They have also compared the angle of the sun with the length of daylight, and found that higher sun angles occur in summer while lower angles occur in winter. To summarize their findings, which were also supplemented with readings, class notes, computer simulations, and the very popular Bill Nye video, the students created information pages to show their new knowledge.
We are now discussing how the Earth, sun, and moon interact to cause the phases of the moon. Our next topics will include how gravity affects the solar system, how to determine the relative scale of objects in the solar system, and why the sun and stars appear to have different brightnesses. There will be an ISN check at the end of the unit, which should conclude at the end of the month.