Central High School
Mr. Don Miner
at The Muncie Community Schools' Planetarium
Muncie, Indiana

Once again this year, the Muncie Community Schools' Planetarium is participating in the PASSPORT TO KNOWLEDGE series of electronic field trips taking students to exciting places as we study science. Join the Pre-calculus class from Central High School with instructor Mr. Don Miner as his students participate in "Noon Shadows on the Equinox" outside the Muncie Community Schools' Planetarium. The students are completing educational activities preparing for the electronic field trip... LIVE FROM THE SUN.

The students measured the length of the shadow cast by a meter stick at midday on the Fall Equinox in the parking lot and on the sidewalk. The students should discover that the angle of the Sun's shadow approximates their geographic location in degrees north or south latitude.

Since these students are enrolled in a Pre-calculus class, Mr. Miner is also including additional applied mathematics activities that the students will study in class. Many of the students are also enrolled in the astronomy class offered at Central High School.

Working in groups, the students prepared to take the measurements by determining a level place for the meter stick. This was a warm, sunny, windy fall day during Homecoming Week at Central High School with a few clouds in the sky in Muncie, Indiana. It was just a beautiful day to work outside on this type of activity. About 11:45 a.m., clouds moved in front of the Sun so that there were no shadows to measure. The students set up the experiment and practiced what they would do as soon as the Sun appeared again. At 11:55 a.m. the Sun appeared and at noon each group of students recorded the measurements.

Peggy Motes,
Planetarium Coordinator

It was School Spirit Week at Central High School, and our spirits just got higher because our class was doing this project. It's awesome to know that we were part of something that is a world wide event.

Erica Petty and Corey Robertson

It was a neat experience to do this activity. The things we are learning in Pre-calculus prepared us to go outside and take the measurements we need for the lesson instead of just getting the numbers from a textbook.

Michelle Perkins and Erin Miller

Once the wind died down, we could set this up to take the measurements. It was very interesting. We learned new ideas. It was a nice change from working in the classroom.

Emily Cross, Donyelle Schultz, Misty Roller

This was a great way to learn! I wish that I could take part in more projects of this nature.

Derek Swingley

This was fun and a good learning experience. We wondered if the Sun would appear. Now we know how a scientist feels waiting to collect data. We wondered what would happen if the Sun did not appear from behind the cloud at the right time? It is better than sitting in a classroom and reading about these numbers in the book.

Tim Hahn, Erin Weller, and Nick LaVelle