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View Resource National Geographic Education: The Reason for the Seasons

How does the sun determine the Earth's seasons? This is the question that the National Geographic Education site seeks to answer with a lively 35-minute activity designed for students between the ages of seven and eleven (second through fifth grade). In the activity, students use polystyrene foam balls and light bulbs to simulate the intensity of the sun's energy on the earth's surface. The site...

View Resource My NASA Data Lesson Plan: Seasons and Cloud Cover: Are They Related?

This lesson plan uses NASA satellite data to correlate cloud cover over Africa to the solar declination. The four seasons on Earth have a scientific basis. The earth is tilted 23.5 degrees from vertical. This tilt and the Earth's orbit around the sun are the reasons for the seasons. Earth's tilt and orbital position cause differing angles at which the sun's rays hit the surface of the Earth. As...

View Resource Astronomy Animations

This collection of animations introduces students to planetary motions, gravitational effects, and the scale of astronomical distances. Students can view visualizations of Earth's changing seasons, circumpolar motion, and the celestial equator and ecliptic plane. Animations on gravity explain how satellites orbit, the motions of comets and meteor storms, and gravitational 'warping'. Other...

View Resource The College of Saint Benedict / Saint John's University: Elements of Astronomy

The College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University furnish an online version of Chapter II of Simon Newcomb's astronomy book, where he attempts to explain the laws of phenomena of celestial motions to "the inquiring layman seeking to know something of the heavenly bodies and their relation to the earth". With the help of many sketches, students and educators can learn about the earth, its...

View Resource Astronomy With A Stick

This site consists of activities to discover why daylight hours vary in length and to understand the relationships between the Sun and the Earth that cause these changes. The activities use indirect observations of the Sun on the school playground and models built in the classroom. They are grouped in the following units: Tracking a Moving Shadow, The Rise and Fall of Daylight Hours, and Making...

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