Tides Don't Have Anything to do with Oceanography?

Photo taken by the Galileo spacecraft from a distance of about 6.2 million kilometers from Earth, on December 16, 1992. (Source: NASA).

Have you ever tracked the moon? By that I mean drawn a picture of it every day and noted the time and its location? Try it.  It is a wonderful thing to do.
As I am teaching oceanography this year I intend to make this one of the assignments I give to my students and am nervous (curious?) about how high school seniors will respond. They will also be making, in class, the journals in which they will record their moon observations.  These students may or may not "know" that tides are controlled by the moon, but how much do they understand? Do they "get it"? I've had adults ask me to explain this to them, but after doing a moon dance and manipulating models, and hearing explanations, they shake their head and still don't "get it".  So my students will make records of moon observations. They will compare their observations with local tide charts. They will discuss what they notice. And hopefully they will "get it".  Besides, what could be more awesome for homework than moon watching?
The having of wonderful ideas is what I consider the essence of intellectual development.  ~Eleanor Duckworth

Listen to this Podcast on being ripped apart by a black hole, by 365 Days of Astronomy.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I grew up on the West Coast in Southern California. Every moring we drove along the coast and it never failed to amaze me that the ocean looked different. I used to tell my mom (a comment she does not let me forget now that I teach science: that "the ocean looks so full today". There were days that the ocean looked like it was about to overflow!
When HS students are "forced" to look at the moon they are amazed that it chnages postion in the sky as well...I had them keep a log in their homework planners /cell phones as to what window they could see the moom out of each month. There comments were hilarious (very similar to my own comments about being full)
GVHS, Sanata Clarita, CA