Saturday, September 20, 2008

Science Saturday: The Moon

Here are a bunch of different ideas related to the moon and space rockets:

Make a paper rocket.

Learn about the four phases of the moon (new moon, 1st quarter, full moon, last quarter). Have the kids draw the moon every Friday (or whatever night works for you) night for one month so they can see the different phases.

Demonstrate why the moon appears to change shape. Use a flashlight to represent the sun, a baseball to represent the moon, and a soccer ball to represent the earth. Turn on the flashlight and turn off the other lights in the room. Shine the "sun" right at the "moon" (which someone is holding). Have someone hold the "earth" in between the sun and the moon. Keeping the sun and earth stationary, have the moon "orbit" around the earth. Have the kids make note of the light and shadows on the moon to show how the moon "changes" shape.

Make a solar eclipse with a flashlight, a grape, and a grapefruit (these same objects would probably work in the previous activity as well).

Design a lunar settlement. This may be a little advanced for younger students, but could lead to a good discussion of the problems faced with designing a lunar settlement.

Dehydrate foods and/or sample dehydrated and/or rehydrated foods (Tang was invented originally for astronauts). Some examples are pudding mix, Jell-O mix, dried fruit, jerky, Ramen noodles, and any powdered drink mix.

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