In this project, students will be invited into connecting to the Moon cycle by observing the Moon appearance and position in the sky during one month. Students will be creative and artistic, creating a Moon journal with drawing made from the moon every single day (with exception of cloudy days) and will compare their results with those of other students from different regions of the world. Throughout the process students will raise questions about the configuration of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, think about eclipses and take some conclusions about the shape of our planet.
In the FEEL phase of a Design Thinking process, students are invited into deeply learning about the topic and the problems associated. It is also the time where student are invited into contacting with their community to evaluate their level of knowledge of the topic or problem and give use to their expertise in order to solve those problems.
STEP 1: Brainstorming about the Moon
Students will discuss about the moon, its appearance, time and position in the sky. Below are a few questions that can be raised:
Is the Moon shape the same everyday?
When is the Moon visible in the sky?
Is it possible to discern any features on the Moon surface?
Does the Moon always show the same face to us?
What path the Moon traces in the sky?
How long does it take for the Moon to repeat its cycle?
Is there night and day in the Moon?
What is Moonlight?
What are moon Eclipses?
First, students should try to answer these questions based on their own knowledge. After this first try, students will be invited to discuss these questions with their families and communities. A summary of their findings after this interaction should be posted on the collaborative platform.
STEP 2: Investigation proposal to address such questions
Students will be asked to perform three types of investigation activities:
The first activity is a practical project. During one month, students will keep a daily observation log registering when they saw the Moon in the sky and how was its appearance. The final product will be a Moon Journal with drawings of the moon as they observe it.
You can download a template here
The second activity discusses Moon phases and can be executed in the classroom. In a dark room, a styrofoam ball representing the Moon, and a light source representing the Sun, students will be able to simulate the changing appearance of the Moon during a full cycle. In alternative or in addition, they can use the moon phases simulator.
In the third activity, students will learn how to use astronomical software (such as Stellarium ) to simulate a lunar cycle and compare the simulations with their observations.
STEP 3. Collaborating with students from other locations: investigating globally
Globallab is a platform where students can introduce data they have collected, by answering to a form, and then compare it with the same data collected by students all over the world.
Using this platform, students will be able to compare their registers with other participating schools in different regions of the world. It is expected that this comparative study will raise discussions about the different appearance of the Moon in these different locations at the same time, especially locations in different hemispheres.
In case you don't have parent consents, you can create code names for the students and make sure your students use the codes and don't add any personal information in the platform. Each students should create an account and add the information collected.
You can find the project here: https://globallab.org/en/project/cover/my_moon_journal.en.html#.XoYeo4hKg2w
During the process, students should record all the details of their research and make the photographic record and if they want, make short videos of the activity.
Students should keep a constant record of their work here in their OSOS project, including pictures of the whole process and print screens of their most relevant graphics, maps, etc.