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Seasons - I'm Spinning and I Can't Stop!

You are to use a model to demonstrate earth revolving around the sun. The tilt of earth in your model shows how seasons happen.

Remember that the sun is the center of our solar system. Like the other planets, the earth revolves around the sun.

Remember:
The earth takes one trip around the sun once each year.

Materials:

  • Globe
  • Tape
  • Electric light with a single bulb
  • Dark room

Procedure:

  1. Place a piece of tape around the equator separating the northern and southern hemispheres. 
  2. Turn on the light bulb.
  3. Move the globe around the light bulb - Tape a tack head down on the globe where Utah is. Make sure you keep the tack always facing the sun.
  4. Demonstrate one year of seasons by moving the globe around the light bulb.  Stop at every quarter and look at how the sun is shining on the tack.  Explain what season it is.
  5. Have the students demonstrate earth's revolution by standing in a circle and moving once around the sun (with the teacher standing in the center).

Questions:

Which season does the northern hemisphere have when the North Pole points towards the sun?

Which season does the northern hemisphere have when the South Pole points towards the sun?

Which season does the southern hemisphere have when the North Pole points towards the sun?

Which season does the southern hemisphere have when the South Pole points towards the sun?

How did the length of the shadow of the tack change from season to season? Why did the length of the shadow change?

This is an animation of the setup!

Review:
Write a paragraph about what you observed and how your ideas have changed.

utah state board of education This Sci-ber Text was developed by the Utah State Board of Education and Utah educators.
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