Friday, March 21, 2008
This week, we shared our astronomy lesson with another family. It made the fun lesson, even more fun. We read about the planet, Mercury. Some highlights from the lesson: Even though Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, it is not the hottest planet. It has no atmosphere to keep the heat in like Venus and Earth do. The temperature ranges from 700 degrees F to -300 degrees F. Mercury is covered with craters as a result of being hit by asteroids. Of course, if it had an atmosphere, most of the asteroids would have burned up before making it to the surface. However, one thing that baffles scientists is the areas that are flat with no craters. If the universe has been around for billions of years, what are the chances there would be so much crater free area. Things that make you go hmmmmm. For our experiment, we made a model of Mercury. We had to make homemade dough (like playdoh). The recipe is in the book. We made one for each child, but we probably could have done it with half the amount. They formed their dough into a ball and then had to fill it with craters. The kids had a blast, and by the time we were done, we had 3 models of Mercury. We started with 6 kids. The boys thought it would be more fun to combine their dough and make a mess out of it. But the important part is that they learned Mercury is covered with craters. Can't wait to see how the lesson on lava goes next week.