Rochester Museum and Science Center, Strasenburgh Planetarium
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- A good video to show after doing a physical seasons modeling activity, for example CLEAN selected resource "Reason for the Seasons": http://cleanet.org/resources/41829.html
- A summary or guide of what learners should observe in the animation would be helpful to provide to students.
- There is background material at http://www.rmsc.org/StrasenburghPlanetarium/InfoForTeachers/Programs/CelestialSphere/
- Emphasize that the orbit of the Earth around the sun is only slightly eliptical.
- Highlight that on the Spring and Autumn equinox, night and day are equal no matter where on the planet one is– 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night.
- Emphasize that the tilt of Earth does not change throughout the year as it orbits the Sun.
About the Science
- The visual mentions that the icons for the Sun and Earth are not to scale in the animation.
- The visual does a good job of showing the reorientation of the star field when the point of view is changed. The motion of other inner planets and Mars is also included.
- Comments from expert scientist: The graphics are clear and attractive.
About the Pedagogy
- An important feature of this video is its clear indication of when the animation is stopped and when the perspective is changed. This should help students understand the spatial relationships involved.
- The animation notes the orientation of Earth's axial tilt is aligned with the North Pole toward the North Star.
- This animation is part of the Rochester Museum and Science Center - Strasenburgh Planetarium's school program "Celestial Sphere" (http://www.rmsc.org/StrasenburghPlanetarium/InfoForTeachers/Programs/CelestialSphere/).
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