Summer of Science: Rotation & Revolution

Summer of Science logo

This week we’re looking at how the Earth’s rotation creates night and day and how the Earth’s revolution creates the seasons.  When writing out the schedule I questioned my decision to break these two topics into separate experiments, and with good reason.  It’s impossible to make a clay model of the Earth, simulate it rotating, and NOT also revolve it around the sun.  So this week there’s just this experiment…sorry.


  • Play-Doh or clay
  • pencil
  • 2 index cards
  • stick pin


Start off by creating your Earth out of the Play-Doh and sticking the pencil through it.

Earth model rotation science experiment

Next I assigned Essie to color a night’s sky on her card and Vin to color a sun.  I used a pinch of the Play-Doh to hold the card up.

Model for the Sun

Holding the pencil between the two cards I stuck a pin in the Earth to show where we lived.  As we took turns spinning the planet I asked them to notice how we pass the sun and stars with each rotation.


Since they actually got it pretty quick we went ahead and started to revolving our planet, on a slight tilt – should be 23% to be exact, around the sun card.  Again I asked them to notice when we were closest to the sun and when we were furthest away.  I kept things pretty simple…closer=summer and further=winter.  With the Summer Solstice ocurring on this Wednesday, June 20th, I encourage you to read this article from FactMonster and find your own way to celebrate the season!

Don’t forget, this ended up being two in one so we won’t be working on any more science until next week visit our Summer of Science homepage to see what’s on the schedule!


  1. If I had to do it over, I'd choose your school ... for sure. I love your experiments and classroom, my friend. love it.


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