Tracking Sunlight: Global Citizen Scientist Activity for Kids

Mystery Class: Tracking Sunlight to Solve a Mystery
Begins January 30th, 2012

Mystery Class, a free global game of hide-and-seek where children study seasonal changes in sunlight, begins January 30th, 2012. Follow photoperiod clues to search for ten secret sites around the world. Track sunlight to solve a mystery! Discover the reasons for seasons along the way.

Seasonal changes take place around the globe alongside changes in the amount of sunlight that a location receives during the day.  Locally, we experience an influx of light as summer approaches, then experience dark in greater quantities as winter begins.

Every place in the world has its own unique times for sunrise and sunset, and thus has its own unique seasonal patterns.  By paying attention to the changes in light around us, we can begin to better understand seasonal changes.

Journey North’s Mystery Class, a free online citizen scientist activity for students, asks kids to do exactly that!  Starting January 30th, students  can record the times of sunrise and sunset at their location and report them to other students around the globe, and then receive the same information from ten groups of students in other locations around the world.  Students then use the information reported to them to determine where on the globe the groups reporting to them must be!

By participating, kids will learn about the seasonal changes in the locations where their mystery groups are, and they’ll also learn about their own location by comparing and contrasting the amounts of daylight, climate, and season of the two places.  Students can share information about their location with the other groups, too!  Mystery Class is an opportunity to learn about the seasons on both a local and global scale!  For more information, visit

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