- Where will you get chocolate cookies with white cream filling? Make sure everyone can eat them.
- Where will you get a ball that you can paint black and white?
- What does the Moon look like when you see it in the night sky? What do you know already about the phases of the Moon?
- The Moon orbits around Earth once every 29 days. Over that time, the Moon goes from being invisible (what we call a “new moon”) to gradually appearing as a full circle in the sky, and then shrinking away again.
- Explore the phases of the Moon using a ball that is painted white on one side and black on the other.
- Keep one side facing the Sun while the Moon moves around the group.
- How much of the white paint can you see as the Moon moves around the circle?
- Scrape icing off of cream-filled cookies to show the different phases of the Moon that you saw.
Phases of the Moon
- Divide the ball in half. Paint one side black and the other side white. The white side represents the half of the Moon that is lit up by the Sun.
- Choose one side of your meeting area to be the Sun.
- One person will hold the Moon. Everyone else should sit or stand together in a group. This group is Earth.
- Slowly, the Moon travels in a circle around the group, as if it were orbiting Earth, making sure that the white side is always facing the Sun.
- What do you see from Earth as the Moon goes by?
- Each person will need eight cookies for this adventure.
- Slowly twist your cookies apart, trying to keep the icing intact.
- Scrape or eat away the icing to create the different phases of the Moon.
- Can you line them up from new moon to full moon and back?
- You may not want to eat all of the cookies at the end of this adventure. You might put some into small bags to take home.
- What do you know now that you did not know before?
- What did you notice as the Moon-ball moved around the earth?
- How do the phases of the Moon change over the course of a month?
- What elements of STEM were in this adventure? Science? Technology? Engineering? Mathematics?
- What did you like about this adventure? What did you not like? How would you do this adventure differently?
Keep it Simple
- Take your meeting outside and take a look at the moon! What phase is it in? Draw how the moon looks in that phase. At your next few meetings, take a few minutes to look at the moon! What phase is it in now? How does it look different from the week before?
Take it Further
- When is the next lunar eclipse? Make plans to watch it!