OBP - February 2023


Forums / Earth and Space Science / Sun Trackers

Earth and Space Science

Sun Trackers

Author Post
Angelo Laskowsky Angelo Laskowsky 2190 Points

Anyone know of a fast and cheap way to make sun trackers, or where I can buy them at (since I have skills of a craftsman with all thumbs and 2 left hands that are on backwards)? They're a clear plastic bowl over a mirror with a compass on it and you put a dot on the plastic bowl to mark the passage of the sun over the year. The bowl needs to be almost a perfect sphere, or hemisphere. Flinnsci.com doesn't know what I'm talking about. Does anyone know where I can find these things?

Patricia Reid Patricia Reid 1850 Points

Using the Sun Tracker would be a visible way my students can see the movement of the sun. Thanks for the info on who has it. What are sun sticks and how would you use them?

Thanks Tina! I teach 3rd grade in Hawaii and this tool seems perfect for the following benchmark, SC.3.8.3 Safely observe and describe the basic movements of the sun and moon. The benchmark goes into more detail about the sun in the sky from season to season. I found this article, Teaching Through Trade Books: Seasons by the Sun (attached), helpful.


Angelo Laskowsky Angelo Laskowsky 2190 Points

@Tina: Thanks for the resource on the sun tracking kit, that's EXACTLY what I'm looking for. Plus, I can make a cultural-connection with the heiau on the islands, and what they were keeping track of. Awesomesauce! And, Eratosthenes! How did I forget that experiment! I could totally have my kids do that activity and then compare it to real-life. It also gives me a real-world example for why math is important. Love this idea! Thank you so much! I

Angelo Laskowsky Angelo Laskowsky 2190 Points

@Tina: Thank you so much for that picture!! That's an AMAZING photo! I can use that in my class as a starter and I just know my kids will respond to it. It's such an evocative pic! I was looking at it the other day during lunch and one of my kids asked for help. He was transfixed by that picture. He couldn't understand that that really was the sun and it really did move up and down across the sky like that throughout the year. I spent more time explaining to him how that worked that he never did get help with his homework. :/ Either way, great resources as always! Thanks so much!

Matthew DeSilva Matthew deSilva 665 Points

Last year I made a tool that would show the transit of the sun in relation to the Latitude of the viewer and the day of the year. If you are interested in something like that let me know. I did it for a 5th grade classroom. A little advanced for them but we completed the project in 3 45 minute class periods. It was pretty cool.

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