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Summer SAVY, Session 2 Day 3, Sun and Shadow (1st – 2nd)

Posted by on Wednesday, June 19, 2024 in blog, SAVY.

Hello, SAVY Families, 

Thursday brought lots of sunshine time at SAVY Summer 2024 Session Two: Sun and Shadow. While our entire course is based on the sun, we were especially grateful today for a warm and sunny day, as we conducted multiple experiments outside using the sun! 

The first experiment we completed in three parts. The question we were trying to answer was “When my shadow is created by the sun, does it look the same at different times of the day?” The SAVY scientists had to act like real scientists, making sure to go through all steps of the scientific investigation. First, the scientists listed the steps they thought were needed to conduct the experiment. Next, the scientists made their hypothesis to prepare for the experiment. Finally, we started the experiment by going outside and drawing and measuring our shadows. Scientists had to make sure they selected an area without any other shadows covering it, so their experiment would be valid. After drawing with markers and butcher paper and measuring their shadow, the scientists left their shadows and eagerly waited to see the changes later in the day.  

To review our thinking, students were given index cards with our vocabulary words from the week. The scientists were tasked with creating a concept web by making their own connections between the words. This activity was designed to reinforce the meaning of our important vocabulary for this week. Even though each team of scientists was given the same words, I was amazed to see the unique ways they connected these words. 

Our next experiment was designed to answer the questions, “When you are outside, how can you tell where the sun is by looking at the position of your shadow? How can you make your shadow bigger? Smaller?” Once again, the scientists followed the entire scientific process: listing the steps, asking questions, making a hypothesis, conducting the experiment, and then talking about the results to make meaning. I could tell the scientists really enjoyed intentionally thinking about how they could try to change the shape of their shadow! 

After lunch, we started by going outside to check on our shadows and see how they had changed. This part of the experiment was done as close to noon as possible, and I could tell the scientists were really excited to see how small their shadows had gotten. This prompted a great discussion about how the position of the sun affects what shadows look like. Then, we started our third experiment of the day. This experiment was meant to answer the question, “Is the temperature in the shade hotter, cooler, or the same as the temperature in the sun?” Again, scientists started with the first step of scientific inquiry, and they saw the experiment through to the end. Be sure to ask your SAVY scientist about the steps we took to complete this experiment!  

To end our day, we checked on our shadows one last time. Unfortunately, a large cloud covered us for the 15 minutes we were outside, so most scientists were unable to see their shadows. I would not be surprised if any SAVY scientists went home asking for someone to trace their shadow this evening! We made meaning by analyzing our shadow lengths throughout the day and finished our day by talking about how the sun’s position plays a key role in the shape of a shadow.  

Questions to ask your SAVY Scientist tonight:  

  • What science tools did you use to conduct your experiments today?  
  • Which of the experiments was your favorite today? Why?  
  • What are the steps in the scientific process?  

I am looking forward to one last day of learning with and from the SAVY scientists this week. Have a great night!


Miss Gruchot