Seasons in a Spin

Two girls kneeling in front of a blue and green table and information panel. On the table is a yellow model sun and blue earth.
Two girls kneeling in front of a blue and green table and information panel. On the table is a yellow model sun and blue earth. In the background are two boys looking at other nearby exhibits.

Seasons are caused by the different angles at which sunlight hits the Earth's surface.

How it works

Move a model of planet Earth (tilted on its axis) in orbit around the Sun and notice how Earth's tilt would create different angles of incidence as sunlight hits the ground.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

If the Earth is tilted on its axis, how would the angle of sunlight change as it hits Earth's surface?

Background

Some countries have seasons like Summer and Winter. This is because sunlight hits the Earth's surface at different angles, which changes the heat intensity of sunlight, NOT because parts of the Earth are closer to or further away from the Sun.

Finding the science in your world

While some regions experience four seasons of Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, other regions that are located closer to the equator tend to have less distinct seasons.