Stars in their Eyes

Lunar Watch

Mr. Bharath A.J. of Young Innovators held a lunar watch on Wednesday, 21 st February, 2018. Twenty five bright-eyed students from Stds 7 and 8 made their way to school on a weekday evening for two hours of cosmic exploration. In the first part of the session, Mr. Bharath conducted an in-depth theory class on the dynamics of the Earth and the moon. The students were enthralled by the tricky subject matter, and fought to get a word in at every opportunity.

After the theory session had concluded and the sky was dark enough, the class moved to the school field where they took turns looking through a high-powered telescope at the waxing moon. There were audible gasps as students (and accompanying teachers) found they could clearly see the craters and valleys on the surface of our only natural satellite, orbiting us nearly 400,000 kilometres away. Students were given a worksheet and a reference map, and had to use the telescope to chart out their own map of the moon’s surface. This proved challenging, but the sense of satisfaction at having completed the task was surely unparalleled.

Opportunities like these to supplement classroom learning with actual practical experience are invaluable. We all learn about the solar system and the phases of the moon in primary school, but always through a textbook. To get to see these astronomical phenomena with our own eyes, and facilitate our own learning through experience is another thing altogether. The starry-eyed students who volunteered to spend their evening gazing up at the night sky are certainly lucky to have been able to do this. A vote of thanks to Mrs. Reshmi Iyer for organising this session.

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