Monday, February 2, 2015

Quadrant Craft

While studying explorers, we have been looking at many of the different pieces of technology that helped them navigate across 
oceans. One of these pieces of technology includes the Astrolabe. Originally invented by the Greeks, the Astrolabe measured the altitude of objects, determined the elevation of the Sun and stars, and also give the time and date. 

The quadrant,  a contemporary of the earlier "Astrolabe," utilized it's location components and helped determine one's position using longitude and latitude degrees. The sexton was yet another, even more modern, version of the astrolabe, utilizing the component of altitude and elevation readings making it popular among aviators during WWII. Here is a great teacher resource sharing the history of these difference technologies along with an classroom activity. 

We have been walking through our winter wonderland listening to the WALKING CLASSROOM's Explorer podcasts which have talked about them using "tools" to navigate. After one particular walk, we created our own "astrolabe/quadrants" using THIS template. Then, went outside to test them out yet another great excuse to get some fresh air.  We used them to determine the altitude of a myriad of objects including church steeples, playground equipment, trees, and even each other's heads :) 
The craft and activity went well with our previous longitude and latitude project, found HERE, where we plotted the coordinates of Early Explorer's Routes. 
Here are more Explorer Activities: 
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