Soak Up the Sun
Rochelle High School, Westchester
New Rochelle High School, Westchester
Summer Research Program for Science Teachers
Subject: Regents Earth Science
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Make yearlong observations of the Sun
Compare positions of the Sun throughout the year
Analyze why the Sun appears at different altitudes
Chalk Scientific Calculator (or use the SmartBoard to access this website: http://web2.0calc.com/)
Lab Sheet for Data Collection
Duration: The first observation in September will take approximately 30 minutes. Each subsequent observation will take 15-20 minutes to complete.
Teacher Notes & Instruction: I start this lab before we have discussed how the Sun moves through the sky and why, so I introduce the lab by stating that we are going to be making observations of the Sun throughout the year. As time goes on, before we go out for the next observation, I bring in what we’ve learned since the last observation to help understand the phenomena. Before going outside, I also ask the class to predict if the shadow length will be the same length, longer, or shorter, and why.
students tend to forget the procedure from month to month, I model it right
before we go out each time. Groups
of three tend to work best with one person holding the meter stick, one person
holding the clipboard and being the recorder, and the last person making the
observations on the ground.
the classroom, after the materials have been collected, I ask the students to
relate the angle of the Sun to the current season to explain why the weather is
the way it is at that time. Also,
depending on what we’re learning in class at the time, I try to link it to that
Lab Activity: Students will use the Soak Up the Sun lab sheet to make observations. Students will use the Sun Soaked lab sheet in June to review all observations, synthesize their knowledge and prepare for the June Earth Science Regents exam.
New York State Earth Science Core Curriculum Alignment:
Standard 1: Analysis, Inquiry, and Design
Key Idea 1:
Key Idea 3:
Standard 4: The Physical Setting
Performance Indicator 1.1:
Major Understanding 1.1a: Most objects in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion.
Patterns of Change