Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Children workshop: Plot the earth as it moves round he sun

Children workshop: Plot the earth as it moves round he sun
Dr Abe V Rotor
Neighborhood children plot the movement of the Earth around the sun, and the changing seasons.  


Plot the earth as it moves around the sun in 365 days, plus one-fourth day, to complete a calendar year (and a leap year every four years); divide it into four phases or seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter in this order. And while the order is fixed, the occurrence of the seasons in the Northern Hemisphere is exactly the opposite in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Plot the earth as it moves around the sun and mark the longest day (June 21), longest night (Dec 21), and call them Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice, respectively - that is, if you live somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere it is winter when it is summer in the north, summer when winter, and Spring and Autumn are interchanged.    

Plot the earth as it moves around the sun and mark two dates when day is equal to night: Spring Equinox (March 21) and Autumnal Equinox (Sept 21) - whether you live in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere.  These dates are significant to some leaders: "Beware at the ides of March." (warning before the assassination of Julius Caesar), and declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand Marcos.  

Plot the earth as it moves around the sun and know when the rains start and ends (habagat), when the rice fields are about to be harvested and when the cold  Siberian winds blow in (amihan).  And in between, a brief hot and dry summer that allows the land to rest (fallow), and children to take a vacation from school. 

Plot the earth as it moves around the sun, and study the relationship of our planet with other planets, the nature of its orbit - apogee and perigee - as these affect our climate and the living things on earth.  In fact, the realignment  of the planets is full of speculations and prophesies regarding the end of the world.  

Plot the earth as it moves around the sun and imagine how the sun's energy is harnessed by plants by means of photosynthesis, how differential heating causes
wind, storm and severe winter, the movement of air and ocean currents that redistribute heat and cold.  Or simply to witness the passing of night to day at different proportions and schedules. 

Plot the earth as it moves around the sun and know it by heart as the calendar of  school and office, of work and play, of planting and harvesting, of various human activities and festivities, it is the calendar measured in seconds, minutes, hours, days, lifetime, generation, epoch. It is the reminder that "we pass this way but once."  And therefore, the greatest gift of our existence. ~

No comments: