Astronomy

Science Projects Involving the Sun Moon and Earth for Elementary School Students



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Kids dream about moon and stars and exploring distant planets. These simple experiments use easy to find materials you might already have around the house and are a great way to introduce your kids to the concepts surrounding the sun, moon, and earth.

FOLLOW THE SUN
Here's proof that the earth changes position in a simple experiment that will keep you busy for months.

Mark a chalk line on the floor or wall where the sun shines in your room. Keep a record of the place and the exact hour, day, and month.

A week later, at the same time of day, make another line. Again, jot down the spot and the date. Repeat this weekly throughout the year.

What you will see is that the sun shines in a different spot in the room each week. The movement of the earth around the sun causes the change in position of the line from week to week and from month to month.

WHY WE HAVE SEASONS
Near the equator it remains hot all year around. At the North and South Poles it is always cold. Most parts of the world have four seasons. Why?

Take an orange and push a knitting needle through the center. This will represent the earth and its axis.

Use a marker to draw an ellipse on a piece of cardboard about 10 inches (25 cm) in diameter to represent the earth's orbit. Mark the four points of the compass, north, south, east, and west.

Place a lighted lamp in the center of the cardboard to stand in for the sun.

1. Hold the needle straight up and down, move the orange in turn to each of the four positions.
2. Now tilt the orange so that the axis is slanted away from the vertical. Again place the orange at each of the four points. Look at the lighted section of the orange. In each position observe which part receives the direct rays and which the slanting rays of light.

What happened? When the needle is held straight up and down, the same section is lit no matter where the orange is in relation to the light. When the needle is tilted, the amount of light depends on whether the orange is tilted toward or away from the light. It is the slant that makes the seasons change as the earth revolves around the sun.

Have fun with these experiments. For more simple experiments, check out www.scienceproject.com.

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