We had a great time this week in our sixth grade science class! In our experimental work, we used Stellarium to "identify patterns in the change of the moon.” We went through the month of January and observed the change of appearance each night as the moon went through its different phases. This is a fascinating and efficient way to teach the phases of the moon. The moon can be observed during classroom time and can be seen clearly.
Working in an urban area, students will not often be able to see the moon at night due to skyline issues, pollution, and safety in the evenings. Using a program like Stellarium will help our students understand the phases while in the safety of our classroom. It can also give them a worldview if we have them view the phases from multiple perspectives around the world. While it is important for us to be tech savvy teachers, it is also important for us to find ways to integrate our curriculum to benefit our students. This assignment through Stellarium could help students see the varying landscapes and environments of the world important for social studies, as well as the science discovery that we made involving the phases of the moon. It will meet the needs of learners in all facets of education.