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Challenge older students to explore the sun's seasonal movements by determining the average height of the sun at noon in each of the school year seasons. Establish a viewing spot where observers can stand each time. Let the students decide how to record the path of the sun; for example, "it is three index cards above the tree at noon in September and two index cards above the tree in November." If you have a large window on a south-facing side of the school, students can mark the path of the sun for a day using adhesive dots, every 2 hours or so. This will establish an arched path across the window. Repeat this once each season using red dots for a "fall sun," another color for a "winter sun," and so on, then compare where the paths fall. It is important to establish a viewing spot that is used each time by observers of roughly the same height so the spots remain fairly accurate. Warn students never to look directly at the sun!

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Last updated on 04/23/2014
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