The Science of Shadows

Second-graders in Jennifer Beebe’s and Dennis Clancy’s class at Ruth C. Kinney Elementary recently learned that as the sun moves through the sky each day, the length and position of shadows change. The excited students launched their own investigation into this phenomenon, heading outside the classroom three different times during the day – morning, noon and afternoon – so that each student could have his or her shadow measured. The children used a compass rose that Clancy drew on the blacktop to identify which direction their shadow was positioned, and recorded the length and direction of their shadow each time. “It was great to see how engaged they were in the activity,” said Beebe. “They really enjoyed noticing the changes that occurred with each visit outside and comparing their results with their classmates.”