Using a moon dial in conjunction with our calendar, we will find when today’s moon will rise and set. Students will also learn the differences of a new moon, crescent, quarter, half, gibbous and full moon. Upon entry into the StarLab students can generate an eclipse, an umbra and several moon phases using models and cast shadows before we turn down the lights to follow the moon’s path in the night sky.
This lesson will allow the students to understand the grand scale of our Solar System. We will create a scale model of the planets and some moons in our solar system, using our bodies to measure relative distance from the sun. Then we can enter the StarLab to identify the planets in our current night sky.
Big Dipper and Circumpolar Constellations
Several myths have been written about the northern night skies, especially Ursa Major and the Big Dipper. In this kit, students can explore literature selections from different cultures relating to Polaris and the circumpolar constellations. Upon entry into the StarLab, students will be able to identify stars and constellations utilizing the suggested cylinders; Greek, Navajo, Inuit, Egyptian or the Starfield.
Students will learn to use a star chart to find the current night sky. Depending upon the season, we can use familiar constellations as reference points to locate new constellations. Used in tandem with the Constellation cylinder, students will be able to see how the constellations in the night sky correlate with the astrological calendar while being able to identify less familiar stars and constellations.
This kit allows students to grasp the idea of the Earth rotating on an axis and revolving around the sun. These play a large role in comprehending the path of the sun, the intensity of the sun’s light and why the seasons change. Students may explore these changes by measuring shadows outside with chalk; learn to draw an ellipse using tools, all before entering the StarLab to observe the different effects of the sun’s path in New York compared to the North Pole or the Equator.