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Earth and Space Science

Earth and Space

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Stephanie Ramos Stephanie Ramos 170 Points

What is a good hands on activity for students to learn the moon phases?

Mandy Medlin Mandy Medlin 580 Points

Black out the windows and shut off the lights. Have a lamp in the middle of the room with no shade (this is the sun). Hot glue a ping pong ball to a golf tee and have the students circle up around the light. The students are the Earth, the ping pong ball is the moon. Have students start facing the light with their arms extended straight out, slightly higher than their heads. They can see no light on the ping pong ball, this is the new moon phase. Have them slowly start to spin couter- clockwise, keeping their arms outstretched. Have them stop every 1/8th of a turn to see the new phase portrayed on the ping pong ball. I hope that made snese. Good luck!!

Andrew Fraknoi Andrew Fraknoi 90 Points

Hello. I am an astronomer who has offered workshops over the years for teachers on how best to teach astronmical concepts (my partner was recently-retired NSTA President, Dennis Schatz.)

We put together a collection of some of the best hands-on astronomy activities in this area, and you can find it through the nonprofit Astronomical Society of the Pacific at: 

You can find a free sampling of activities (including one on Moon Phases) at: 

Julia Brodsky Julia Brodsky 195 Points

For those of you who would like to learn more about the Moon research, here is a Moon Village Symposium, online - free registration:

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