South Orangetown Central School District

To better understand the phases of the moon, sixth graders in South Orangetown Middle School Science teacher Eric Goldstein’s class participated in a fun, hands-on activity using Oreo cookies!

Leading up to this activity, Goldstein introduced the Astronomy unit and had students create moon phase posters, complete with illustrations of the four primary and four secondary phases of the moon. To begin the lab, students were given a diagram of eight circles surrounding the Earth and four Oreo cookies. After separating each cookie, students had to use the frosting to visualize the phases of the moon, with the frosting representing the light that is reflected off the moon as seen from Earth.

“This lab is a great way to introduce students to the moon phases and astronomy. They will cover this topic again during their eighth grade science classes,” explained Goldstein. Following this activity, students will learn about the correlation between the phases of the moon and tides.

Moon phases science lab at SOMS