Apparent Motion Of The Sun, Shadows Of Objects And Measurement Of Time In The View Of Seventh Grade Students Of Middle School
The apparent motion of the Sun on the celestial sphere and the behavior of the shadows of objects over time are observable phenomena in everyday life. However, students often do not have a proper understanding of such occurrences, and can even display misconceptions about them. Therefore, we performed a research in order to know students' notions about these subjects and to evaluate the contribution to their understanding brought about by an activity performed with an interactive sundial in an informal learning environment. We investigated the ideas of 43 students from the seventh grade of middle school by applying a test with open questions before and after an activity with an analemmatic sundial, conducted by a monitor. A significant proportion of students were initially unaware of most of the phenomena treated. The intervention performed helped the students to assimilate new concepts, providing the contact with new phenomena and to a lesser degree, the development of explanations about them, indicating an educational potential of this action. However, the contribution to the understanding of
some of the ideas explored was small, pointing to the need to make additional observations, studies and discussions.