Reply To: Module 2 – The Moon, the Earth and the Sun

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Linda Breathnach

I would begin with an experiment using shadows and follow it up with an experiment exploring the size of the earth, sun, and moon.

1. Day and Night Science Experiment

Introduction: To view day and night in the context of the Earth spinning on its axis.
Needed: a balloon (inflated), string, paper, pen, scissors, torch.
Draw the shape of Ireland onto paper and cut it out.
Tie the balloon so it is free hanging.
Place the picture of Ireland on the balloon in its approximate global position.
Shine the torch onto one side of the balloon.
Slowly turn the balloon.
Try holding the balloon to show these times: midnight, sunrise, midday, sunset.

2. Exploring size – Earth, Sun, and Moon.
If the Sun and moon are different in size, why do they appear to be the same size in the sky?
Needed: A tennis ball (moon); A Basketball (sun); Outside space.
Allocate roles to each member of your group.
One person to be the moon, one the sun and one the Earth.
The Earth will stand in front of the moon (holding the tennis ball) and the sun (holding the basketball).
The Earth will ask the sun to move backwards until it appears to be the same size as the moon.
Swap roles so everyone has a turn at each position.

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