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Seasons - Changing Shadows

(or observing changes in day length)

In this outside activity you will measure the shadow of an object to show how the angle of the sun changes over the period of a school year.   Do you think this will prove why we have longer days in the summer?

Description: Your goal will be to collect data and compare patterns of seasonal daylight.

Student Information: Remember that scientists do the same process. First you need to develop a good guess about the answer to the problem (hypothesis). Next you need to collect data in a reliable method. Organize your data in table or chart.

Materials:

  • Light or flag pole
  • Measuring tape or meter stick

Procedure: You will need to work on this activity once a week. Locate a permanent pole such as a light pole or flagpole. At the same time each day (make sure you adjust for daylight savings time) measure the shadow length. You may need to have help from another student to measure the shadow if it is very long. Record your data in a table.

  Week #1 Week #2 Week #3 Week #4
September        
October        
November        
December        
January        
February        
March        
April        
May        

Analysis

  1. What is the pattern of shadow length shown on the table?
  2. What measurable differences are seen as you compare the lengths each month?
  3. During which month is the shadow the longest?
  4. Which month has the shortest shadow length?
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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