IIT astrophysicist Dr. Sally Laurent-Muehleisen continued a 7-year tradition of working with all the 3rd grade classrooms at Longfellow School through OPEF’s Science Alliance program. As a part of their study of seasons and phases of the moon, Dr. Sally taught kids to build astrolabes, a navigational device ancient mariners used to measure the height of stars (particularly the North Star) above the horizon.
Students learned how the position of the moon changes over time and how to make predictions based on their knowledge. The students then took measurements using their astrolabes. Did you know that over the course of 3 days, the moon changes position this much?
Day 1: 32.5 degrees
Day 2: 39 degrees
Day 3: 44 degrees