Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tomorrowland: Learning through a Space Journey

Now that we've learned all about our closest neighbor, the Moon, we began learning about space travel and even made a slight detour into black holes (not literally, of course!)

We read a simple book, Space Vehicles by Anne Rockwell and David Brion, which introduces different space vehicles including space shuttles, lunar rovers, and satellites.

Afterward we used Childcraft's A Look Into Space to learn about the close relationship between science fiction and eventual reality by comparing illustrations from Jules Verne and H.G. Wells to modern images of rockets, moon explorations, and astronaut life.  This led to a discussion about fiction vs. non-fiction.

Somewhere in there, Aidyn asked about white holes. I skipped a few chapters and read the section on white holes to him.

We learned how black holes originate and that their gravity is so strong it pulls everything into it, even light. If one were to go through a black hole, they would travel through a wormhole and eventually emerge through a white hole.

We also read about how astronauts get by in space and the effects of weightlessness on the human body.

Much to Aidyn's delight, we conducted a science experiment to test the effect of "weightlessness" when it comes to drinking liquids. First he positioned himself in a chair so that his tummy was higher than his head. He tried drinking juice and had a difficult time "drinking up." Next he tried drinking from a straw and, though it was much easier, he still had to slurp to get it up and through his body.

We also watched some fun videos about space throughout the day, in between phonics and math work.

Our favorites include:

Why is it dark at night?

Carl Sagan - Pale Blue Dot

and Bill Nye - Outer Space

We are having a blast learning all about space. Our next stop is the Sun!


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