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Lab-Aids™ Analyzing & Explaining Moon Phases (Developed by SEPUP)

Collect, analyze, and interpret data to identify the causes of cyclic pattern of Moon’s phases, and explain why solar/lunar eclipses occur.

Supplier:  Lab-Aids™ 353S

Catalog No. S27120

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  • In the first of the three activities in this kit, students start by ordering the phases of the Moon based on their own experiences and observations of the Moon. They then are challenged to figure out whether there is a predictable, and repeating, pattern in how the Moon's appearance changes over time. Using the pattern they discover, they analyze and interpret data on an incomplete Moon phase calendar and determine which phases occur on the missing days.
  • In Activity 2, students interact with a computer simulation that models the Moon's orbit around Earth. Students record data on how the Moon's appearance changes as its position in its orbit around Earth They then analyze and interpret their data to identify the causes of the cyclic pattern of the Moon's phases.
  • In the final activity, students develop and use a three-dimensional model that illustrates how the Moon's orbital plane is not aligned with Earth's orbital plane around the Sun. This phenomenon explains why there are solar and lunar eclipses a few times a year but not each lunar cycle. This activity also provides an opportunity for students to cement their understanding of the relationship between the Moon's orbit and the cyclical pattern of moon phases.
  • Accommodates unlimited classes, each with 8 groups of 4 students.


  • 16 sets of eight Moon Phase Cards
  • 16 wooden dowel rods
  • 16 yellow sticks
  • 16 green sticks
  • 16 red sticks
  • 8 Earth models (2 in. foam ball)
  • 8 Sun models (3 in. foam ball)
  • 8 Moon models (1 in. foam ball with a hole in it)
  • 8 blue sticks
  • 8 purple sticks
  • 8 large foam boards (8.5 x 8.5 x 1 in.)
  • 8 small foam squares (3 x 3 x 1 in.)
  • 8 Earth and Moon Positions Templates
  • 32 Student Worksheet and Guides
  • 1 Teacher's Guide


5 to 8
11 to 16


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