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What Causes the Seasons?

Experiment #10 from Middle School Science with Vernier

Education Level
Middle School


Because the axis of the Earth is tilted, the Earth receives different amounts of solar radiation at different times of the year. The amount of solar radiation received by the Earth or another planet is called insolation. The tilt of the axis produces the seasons. In this experiment, a simulated sun—a light bulb—will shine on a Temperature Probe attached to a globe. You will study how the tilt of the globe influences warming caused by the lighted bulb.


In this experiment, you will

  • Monitor simulated warming of your city by the sun in the winter.
  • Monitor simulated warming of your city by the sun in the summer.
  • Interpret your results.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #10 of Middle School Science with Vernier. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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