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Solar System Study
Astronomy, Functional Geography 6-9
With the coming of the Autumnal Equinox, our objective was to brush up our knowledge on astronomy, before approaching the biannual equinoctial phenomenon. This review presents some of the materials we used, with the Solar System chart and astronomy puzzles from Alison’s Montessori, and the Tellurium from Nienhuis
They are 6 chapters in the Functional Geography Manual. The first 2 chapters explore the Formation of the Earth, and the Solar Energy and the Earth. Both chapters require the use of impressionistic charts and simple experiments are conducted to convey the idea that the universe is ruled by forces and is always in motion.
During the first chapter, we repeated the experiment with pepper granules and dish detergent to demonstrate how how gas and dust particles attracted each other to form stars. We took a bucket of water and a rope to demonstrate centripetal/centrifugal forces. We used a glass of water with a coin and a file card to prove the Law of Inertia. And we observed how two bodies dropped from high up, regardless of weight, would fall at the same speed, demonstrating the force of gravity.
We went on to doing more experiments. We used the Layers of the Earth to understand how nickel and iron penetrated the Earth and sunk to its core as they were heavier elements. Our experiment with water/oil/corn syrup/soap helped prove that density plays a role in the positioning of elements in the Earth’s layers.
For Chapter 2, we revisited the Layers of the Sun’s puzzle, and used the lamp on the Tellurium to visualize how the sun radiates in all direction, and the Earth only receives a small amount of it. We observed that only half of the Earth receives the sun’s radiation, which causes days and nights (you have to be in a dark room, to which we went for this experiment). This is where we are going to enter the reason for the seasons, and talk about the Vernal and Autumnal Equinoxes, which will follow in the next days.
The Solar System Chart is quite unique. It will make several appearance in our learning journey, as it serves as a platform for astronomy, history, physical science, and functional geography. Several objects and phenomena are represented such as a comet, the Asteroid belt, the Kuiper belt, and the Oort cloud. The colors and graphics are more stunning in real life than they appear on pictures. The children are highly inspired by the mind-igniting view of the chart.
I am hoping this review helped you determine what will enrich your astronomy area. Another key of the presentations was the impressionistic experiments suggested in the manual Functional Geography. The manual contains pre-made command cards that can be left at the children’s disposal for experimenting themselves. Enjoy the universe now!
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