Steady Partner, Steady Seasons

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
6 7 8
Organization:Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI)
Summary:Our Moon acts like training wheels for the Earth, allowing for a stable cycle of seasons. In part A, children ages 11 to 13 model how Earth's tilt creates the seasons. In part B, children model that if its tilt was not stabilized by the Moon, Earth's axis would slowly wobble betwen straight up and nearly on its side. The reulting seasonal extremes would be unfavorable for life. Allow one hour for this activity.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 1
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS1.B
NGSS Performance Expectations:MS-ESS1-1; MS-ESS1-2; MS-ESS1-3
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Analyzing and interpreting data; Developing and using models
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Patterns; Scale, proportion, and quantity; Systems and system models
Subjects: 6-8; astronomy; climate; earth; earth science; geoscience; gravity; middle school; moon; physics; space
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