On Wednesday, April 26, 2023, students of the Lyme-Old Lyme Consolidated School attended an after-school Curiosity Shop session hosted by the Lyme Land Trust. The
session was an astronomy workshop focused on the phases of the Moon. They observed the day-time first quarter moon visually, observed it through a telescope, and then used painted golf balls help up at arm’s length to visualize how the lit side and darker side of the golf ball exactly mirrored the moon’s actual lit shape when held at the correct position. Then they experienced all the phases of the moon by changing where they stood in relation to the lit or unlit side of the golf ball.
Hands-on time like this is meant to create an epiphany moment. When they next look up at the moon, they will hopefully remember the golf ball, and realize again the phase of the moon is determined by nothing more than where the moon is in its monthly orbit around our earth. If they also point that out to a friend or a parent, all the better for cementing their learning moment.
The Lyme Land Trust hosts monthly public observing sessions at a local dark sky site that also houses a permanent 14” telescope. For a schedule of upcoming sessions and lectures, you may visit lymelandtrust.org under Astronomy and Dark Skies.