Topic outline

  • Welcome and Introductions

    This project is made possible by awarded funding support for "How Big is Earth" from IAU-OAD under Task Force 2: Children and Schools. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the largest body of professional astronomers in the world and has set up the Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) in partnership with the South African National Research Foundation.

  • Activity 1: Pre-project Survey

  • Activity 2: Project Journal

  • Activity 3. Introduction to How Big is Earth?

    3a.  YouTube:   Enjoy viewing the video below. (6 minutes 41 seconds)

    If you cannot view YouTube, please send and the iCollaboratory Team will send you the video.

  • Activity 4. Latitude and Longitude

    Note to teachers: If you cannot use YouTube, please email for another version of the video.

  • Activity 5. Solar Noon Changes the Seasons

     If you cannot use YouTube, please email for another version of the video.

  • Activity 6. Measurement, Math & Geometry

  • Activity 7. Collection of Data March 19, 20, or 21, and June 19, 20, 21 or 22 Your Solar Noon

    Note for teachers:  If you are having cloudy or inclement weather, please go to Activity 7a and 7b  to find your data for this activity.  You may also take digital pictures of your screen for Stellarium and the Website. You may also want to use these activities to double check your answers.

    On March 19, 20, 21, 22 and June 19, 20, 21, or 22 you need to repeat the following measurements, record them first in your project journal and next in the Survey for Data Collection linked below.   

    Tools needed: protractor, compass, one meter stick, nail, thin cardboard, ruler, piece of string and writing utensil.

    1. Obtain  a 1" x 2" piece of wood that is 1 meter tall.
    2. On  a  piece of  thin cardboard draw a quadrant (1/4 of  circle)  using  a protractor that  has lines indicating  every degree from zero degrees to  90 degrees.
    3.  Glue the quadrant to the wide side of  the stick ( see drawing).
    4.  Pound  a  large nail perpendicular  to the quadrant at the  origin  (see drawing). 

    Note: the angle on the protractor will be the angle of inclination of your solar noon when you complete the official measurement.


    1. Plant your 1 meter stick in the ground. It must be perfectly upright.
    2. Use the compass to find North.
    3. Plant short stick about .5 meters North of the long stick. The sticks form a sun dial. When the shadow of the Sun touches the short stick, the time is solar noon.
    4. Special Note: the angle on the protractor is the angle of inclination of your solar noon.


    1. Enter the  time and angle of inclination into your project journal.
    2. When you have finished, please complete the Survey for Data Collection linked to the top of this activity.
  • Activity 7a. Using Stellarium Software to find your results

    Or for use on a cloudy day!

    Stellarium needs to be installed on your computer. You can easily download and install it from

  • Activity 7b. Website to find Solar Noon, Latitude and Longitude

    Everyone in the project should be able to use this website. 

  • Activity 8. Analysis & Display of Data

  • Activity 9. Reflections of Learning

    • View
  • Activity 10. Post Project Survey

  • Activity 11. Project Completion Survey

    After completing the final survey below, you will receive a Certificate of Completion.