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Studies indicate that K-8 students often have difficulty understanding why days and nights vary in length and why the seasons change. In this inquiry-based activity, children use household items to construct a simple sundial. They track the position of the sun at different times during the year and measure the shadows cast by the sun's light. The sun appears in a different location each day with one exception: the vernal and autumnal equinox when the position is the same. As children predict outcomes, parents or teachers can introduce images showing the earth's tilt on its axis to help with concept building. An explanation of the results is included along with links to a related site and other astronomy activities. This is part of a larger collection by the Center for Science Education, UC Berkeley.
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