Ideas For Use
Science Objects are two hour learning experiences teachers can use to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept. Teachers can access any topic “on demand” from the Internet. Topics are based on the science literacy goals in the national standards (NSES, Science for All Americans, Benchmarks, and the Atlas of Scientific Literacy) and tied to state standards.
Each Science Object provides an understanding of the science content by providing a structured set of learning experiences through simulations and practice assessments. Science Objects challenge teachers to explore and explain real world phenomena and are founded on the principle that learners must be challenged with a problem, observation, data, etc., in order to develop scientific understanding. Science Objects utilize the five phases of inquiry-based learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
Earth, Sun, and Moon: Earth's Seasons
- Explain that seasons are caused by the tilt of Earth's axis to the plane of its orbit
- Explain the nature of Earth’s elliptical orbit and give the approximate dates of aphelion and perihelion
- Recognize that Earth’s axis of rotation does not change angle or direction with respect to the stars as it orbits the Sun
- Identify which points in Earth's orbit around the Sun correspond to each of our four seasons
- Explain how the changes in the angle of incoming solar radiation result in differential heating of Earth's surface and corresponding differences in temperature and climate
- Identify the reasons why the seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are the opposite of those in the Northern Hemisphere