How the MOON Project works

Phase 1- Observations (6 weeks)

1. World MOON Project students observe the Moon daily for six weeks.  The observations cover one lunar cycle plus the waxing portion of the next lunar cycle so students can learn from their local perspective how the Moon behaves.  What they learn is guided by their teacher, so what exactly happens in a classroom in Nassau, Dallas, Brisbane or elsewhere is under each teacher’s control.


Phase 2- Observation Essays and Analysis (3 weeks)

2. At the end of the observation period, each student writes a short summary of their observations on three specific dates specified by the World MOON Project.   Given dates are typically when the Moon is a waxing crescent, first quarter or waxing gibbous moon.  Shortly thereafter, these essays are then uploaded to the World MOON Project website.


3. After essays are received, the World MOON Project compiles packets of ten essays from students in different parts of the world.  Each student then receives a packet that consists of their essays and approximately nine others from varying locations.


Using guidelines provided in the free Teacher Handbook and Student Handbook, the students look for global patterns in the observations.  For example, they should determine that observers all over the world see the same lunar phase on the same day, but the orientation of the illuminated side of the moon varies from place to place.


Phase 3- Global Patterns Essays and Analysis (3 weeks)

4.  Students then write and upload short essays about the global patterns they identified.  These “global pattern” essays again are divided into groups of ten essays from various worldwide locations and sent back to the students.


Phase 4- Causal Explanation Essays and Analysis (3 weeks)

5. From the global pattern essays each student selects one pattern and writes and posts a brief essay to explain the cause of that pattern.  The causal explanation essays are placed in groups of ten and shared with students in that group.


Handbooks are freely available to guide teachers and students through the project.  Click Teacher Handbook or Student Handbook to learn in greater detail how the project works.