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Explore Alliance Presents: How Do You Know? – Episode #2: How Do Lunar Phases Work?

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Dr. Barth elaborates on one of the persistent problems with standards-based STEM curriculum is the emphasis upon the Learn, Believe, Repeat methodology that trains students to pass multiple choice tests rather than to think scientifically and participate in discovery oriented activities.

This activity, "How Do Lunar Phases Work?" generally starts with the parent, teacher, or astronomer showing the student what the Moon looks like tonight. The student copies the phase of the Moon by drawing the terminator, the line that separates light and shadow. For our purposes, always draw the terminator starting at the top or ‘north pole’ of the Moon, and finishing up at the bottom, or ‘south pole of the Moon.