Student Moon Reflections

Conceptualizations about the moon in progress…

The students kept notes in their own notebooks. This student is reflecting after one of the moon dance sessions. She uses the phrase non-reflective to speak about how light is traveling from the sun to the moon to the earth. She probably is thinking about a session in which we used a flashlight to shine on a mirror in a dark room where the beam was reflected off the mirror so that the angle of incidence equalled the angle of reflection. In this activity, students stood on all four sides of a table. Only the student opposite of the student with the flashlight saw the flashlight beam when it was shining at the mirror. The students on the other sides of the table did not see the flashlight beam. This provided evidence that when light bounces off of a mirror it is in one general direction, as opposed to many directions. We noted that the table did not reflect light in the same manner as the mirror. Although the table seemed smooth, its surface is rougher than a mirror. Light bounces off of rough surfaces in many directions, not just one (as in the mirror activity). So when light from the sun shines on the moon, it bounces off the moon in many directions, including a direction toward earth.

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