# The purpose of this visit is to investigate lunar phases. After this lab, the students will be able to demonstrate and apply these concepts:

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3 horizon and see the sun. Why won t we ever see a full moon at noon? It is because it is on the other side of the earth. If the moon is lighted on the right side, we know that each night it will have more of its surface lighted than the previous night. (We might say that it is getting bigger; in science we call that waxing.) If the left side of the moon is lighted, we know that the next night we will see less of its surface lighted. (So it will look smaller; in science we call that waning.) Remember that when you see the right side of the moon lighted, the moon is waxing, and the next night, more visible surface will be lighted. When the left side of the moon is lighted, it is waning, and the next night, less visible surface will be lighted. Discuss waxing and waning crescent and gibbous phases Now that we have used a classroom-sized model to help understand the Earth rotation and lunar phases, we are going to split into groups and use a desktop model to reinforce what you have learned. Divide the students into as many groups as you have volunteers, up to five groups. Ideally, there would be six or fewer students per group. Lunar Phases Game Instructions for the class volunteers: On each table is a game board, showing a model of the Earth, shaded half for day and half for night. The moon s orbit path is diagrammed, showing a spot for each of the 28 days of the lunar revolution. 1. Remind the students of what they have learned: - The sun is the center of our solar system - The sun produces light and other energy, and the Earth and moon only reflect the sun s light. The moon really doesn t shine. It just reflects, like a mirror. Use the example of a mirror. Does the mirror really have a face? No, it reflects your face. Half of the moon s surface always reflects the sun s light, but we can t always see the entire lighted half of the moon s surface. Sometimes we can t even see any of it at all a new moon. - Revolve means to go around something. The moon makes one revolution around the Earth every 28 days. Rotate means to spin on axis like a top. You can remember the difference because rotate has a T in it, like Top. Revolve has no T. The Earth revolves around the sun once in a year. The Earth rotates on its axis once a day. 2. Give each student a moon as their playing piece. The objective of the game is to revolve around the Earth more times than the other player in the group by the end of the playing time. 3. Everyone places their moon in the new moon phase (closest to the sun, along the trail marked black). Everyone rolls one die to determine who will go first (with the highest roll), and then play will proceed counter-clockwise.

4 4. The first player rolls both dice, and moves his/her moon counter-clockwise the same number of days along the path of the lunar orbit. Make sure that the night and day shading of the moon-playing-piece is oriented on the board to match the diagram shown on the playing board. The lighted side of the moon should always face the sun. 5. The board may be rotated so that the player can get their eyes down to look from behind the earth toward to the moon. This is to simulate what it would look like to look into the sky from the earth, looking to the moon overhead. Now the player must tell the group what the lunar phase is: New Moon Crescent Waxing or Waning 1 st Quarter Gibbous Waxing or Waning 3 rd Quarter Full Moon Check to see if the player identified the phase correctly by lifting the phase card that is the color that matches the trail extending toward the moon. If the student is wrong, then they must move their moon back as many days as the lowest numbered die. If they get the phase correct, they get a bonus question card. The adult volunteer draws a bonus card and reads the question to the player. If they don t know the answer, they can phone-aphase-friend and ask one player for help. If the phase-friend gets the bonus question right, then the two players split the bonus reward. Once a player gets a bonus question wrong, they forfeit the phone-a-phase-friend option. If they get the bonus question correct, then they get the reward indicated on the card. If they miss the bonus question, there is no consequence. 6. At this point, the first player s turn is over and the player to the right continues. Continue playing, as every player moves their moon around the orbit. Remind them as they move that each spot represents one day in the lunar orbit. After each player completes one orbit and returns to the new moon phase, then the player receives a Popsicle stick for completing one complete 4-week revolution. The player who completes the most revolutions during the playing period is the winner!

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