This week in Girlstart After School our girls were astronomers and all about the moon! However, the girls didn’t just learn the phases of the moon, but had to create replicas of each phase. Their material: Oreos.
A new moon, when the moon is not visible from earth, was represented by a plain cookie half of an oreo. Similarly, the full moon, a completely illuminated moon, was represented by half of an oreo fully covered with its white cream. The girls had to carefully create all the phases in between by making the cream of each oreo half resemble the illuminated portion of the moon in each phase. The young astronomers learned that the moon is waxing when the illuminated portion of the moon is increasing, and the illuminated portion of the moon grows from a new moon, to a waxing crescent, to a first quarter, to a waxing gibbous. Consequently, the moon is waning when it changes from a full moon to a new moon.
After creating their diagrams, the girls tried to understand what causes the changes in the phases of the moon. Three girls acted out the relationship between the sun, earth, and moon: while the Earth spins on its axis and rotates around the Sun, the moon rotates around the Earth. That’s a lot of spinning! The girls then created interacted paper diagrams of the relationship between the sun, earth and moon, that allowed the earth to rotate around the sun as the moon rotated around the earth. As the girls moved the moon and earth around, they were able to identify when each phase of the moon occurs!