Weather & Climate
Behaviors of Light
Sun, Earth, and Moon
Moon Phases
Solar System Planets

True or False:  Weather is a quickly changing thing, but Climate takes a long time to change.

True:  Weather happens hour by hour.   Climate is the average weather over decades of time.


True or False:  Light always travels in straight lines

True:  Light cannot curve, only change direction instantly.


True or False:  The sun and moon are planets

False:  The sun is a star and the moon is a natural satelite.


True or False:  The moon changes physical shape as it orbits the earth

False:  The moon stays spherical, it only appears different.


True or false:  The sun is a planet, classified as a gas giant

False:  The sun is a star


The news shows that there will be rain and thunderstorms all week starting Thursday.  Is this reporting on the weather or the climate? How do you know?

This is talking about weather because it mentions what the atmosphere will do over a week- a week is a short period of time.


What behavior does light perform when it strikes a mirror?  Give the answer, and describe what it does.

When light hits a mirror, it reflects (or bounces off the surface).


Which celestial bodies have craters on the surface?

The moon and earth both have craters on their surface.

Draw the positions of the Sun, Earth, and Moon during the FULL MOON phase.

The drawing should have the earth between the sun and moon.


What are the names of the rocky planets in order from closest to the sun to furthest away from the sun?

The names of the rocky planets in that order are Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars


Mr. Kaeppel's uncle Vernon works in Brazil, and he says that the weather is almost always hot and humid in Rio de Janeiro where he works.  Is uncle Vernon describing the weather of Brazil or the climate of Brazil?  How do you know?

Uncle Vernon is describing the climate of Brazil.

What behavior does light do when it travels through a microscope? Write the behavior, and describe it.

When light travels through a microscope, it refracts or bends to change direction, making things look bigger than they really are.


Which celestial bodies have an atmosphere?

The earth has a thick atmosphere.  The moon barely has an atmosphere at all. 


After the full moon, would the moon change to look more lit up or less lit up?

After full moon, the moon would look less lit up.


What are the planets outside the asteroid belts classified as?

The planets outside the asteroid belt are classified as Gas Giants


Mr. and Mrs. Smith live in Wisconsin.  Mr. and Mrs. Smith are always feeling sick.  Their doctor says that they feel sick because the winter weather makes them sick.  They decide to move to Texas because there is no weather during winter in Texas.  Are Mr. and Mrs. Smith correct?  Why or why not?

Mr. and Mrs. Smith are incorrect.  Texas has weather in the winter, but because of the warmer climate, the winter weather is less cold.


You are walking in the woods.  You find a clear lake in the middle.  You can see fish swimming in the lake, but the fish look wavy and close to the surface.  When you reach in to catch one, it made your hand look closer than it really was.  The fish was actually much deeper!
What behavior best explains all these strange things in the lake?

All these can be explained with refraction.


Which celestial bodies orbit the earth?

The moon is the only celestial body that orbits the earth.


How long does an entire lunar cycle take to complete?

A complete lunar cycle takes around 28 days.


What is the name of the 6th planet from the sun?

The 6th planet from the sun is Saturn.


Mr. Kaeppel is going to teach his son Gabriel how to be a scientist.  Imagine: when Gabriel turns 5, he tells Mr. Kaeppel that he wants to study the climate to see if it will change.  He asks Mr. Kaeppel if he can help him record the temperature and weather for a whole year.
Will Gabriel be successful in finding climate change that year? What would you tell Gabriel?

No, Gabriel will not find out if the climate changed that year because he did not measure for a long enough time.  If he wanted to measure climate change, he would have to look at the average weather over his whole life.


What behaviors of light allow a telescope to work?  Explain how.

The telescope makes things look closer using refraction.  Some telescope eyepieces use reflection to allow you to view the telescope from a more comfortable angle.



How many times would the moon go around the earth in the time it takes earth to go around the sun?
Round to the nearest whole number.

365 / 28 = 13 times


Draw the position of the sun, earth, and moon during the FIRST QUARTER phase.

The student should draw the moon at a 90 degree angle to the sun BELOW the earth.


Which planet has the shortest revolution (orbit) time?

Mercury, being closest to the sun, has the shortest orbit time.