Reflection: Real World Applications Calculating Photoperiods (Lengths of Days) - Section 4: Elaborate

As we analyzed the data we collected and worked on the photoperiod calculations, one of my students said- "Wow Ms. Mutch, I didn't realize how much math there was in science!" I told the class that scientists use math all of the time, especially when they are collecting and analyzing data as we did for the photoperiods. I also explained that scientists use math for almost everything they do.

The math skills that they needed for this lesson included knowledge about time and elapsed time. Earlier in the lesson I had to remind the students to make sure to convert their sunrise and sunset times to the 24 hour clock. Then they need to subtract the 2 numbers to get the length of day. I also reminded them that they can't have an answer of 10 hours and 88 minutes for example,  and I asked them why that was. Most of the students said that there are 60 minutes in a hour and that you needed to subtract 60 from the minutes portion to add 1 hour to the hour side. Here is photoperiod student calculations

The students also have to graph their data and we discussed why scientists would do this and we talked about being able to see patterns in the data to help solve a problem or come up with a conclusion with what was being studied.

Real World Applications: Analyzing Data to form conclusions

Calculating Photoperiods (Lengths of Days)

Unit 2: The Sun and Earth Connection
Lesson 5 of 16

Big Idea: The length of a day or photoperiod, changes depending on the time of year. Students will look for patterns in these changes and understand why these changes occur.

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80 minutes

Jennifer Mutch

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