Tuesday, April 17, 2012

1st Grade Science - Shadow Experiment

So I've been waiting to do our Shadow Experiment for quite a while now. We were waiting for a sunny day and they've been few and far between. But luckily, yesterday we had perfect weather and a nice spot in our backyard for our experiment.

I created a little worksheet to help us along, which I'm including with My Printables for anyone looking to do an experiment about shadows.

First, you need to pick an object (we did our experiment with a water bottle). Stand the object upright and measure its length and write it in the worksheet. We started at 10 am, but you could start earlier.The earlier you start and the later you finish, the more data you will collect! We went outside and picked a spot that we knew would be sunny for most of the day.

We placed the water bottle on the ground and used sidewalk chalk to mark the spot for the water bottle. That way every time we went outside to make an observation, we would place the bottle in the exact same spot. At this point, we also marked our first shadow. My daughter then measured the shadow and documented it. Right away, we had two pieces of data that we could discuss (the bottle's actual size and the first shadow size).

We went back outside every hour, placed the bottle in the same spot and marked the new shadow. If you can't go outside every hour, that's fine. Just note the time you do go out to measure. The point of the experiment is to notice the size of the shadow changing as well as the position of the shadow that moves on the ground like a clock.

My daughter loved coming to the conclusion that the sun works like a clock!

The next day we finished our experiment by talking about what we discovered and answering the questions on our worksheet.

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