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Welcome to Moon Over Us: Monthly Cycle and Influence on People

posted Jan 19, 2013, 2:30 PM by Bonnie Thurber   [ updated Aug 11, 2013, 1:31 PM ]
image taken by Fred's father. Fred is from Bejing, China
Moon Over Us: Monthly Cycle and Influence on People is a project conceived by Herbert Puehringer from Salzburg, Austria. It was developed as an investigation about the influence of the moon on our lives. In the project, students share research about the history of their people and how the moon has influenced and affected them.

It happens at least once every month. Sometimes, rarely, it happens twice a month. Up there in the sky. It's a bird. It's a plane. No, it's a FULL MOON. Popular legend has it that the full moon brings out the worst in people: more violence, more suicides, more accidents, more aggression. The influence of the moon and behavior has been called "The Lunar Effect" or "The Transylvania Effect." The belief that the full moon causes mental disorders and strange behavior was widespread throughout Europe in the middle ages. Even the word "lunacy" meaning "insanity" comes from the Latin word for "moon." Paragraph take from http://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/moon.html.

Is there scientific evidence to support these beliefs? Let's look at the data.    In this project, students become scientists.  They take a fact-or-fiction survey;  share history and believes about the influence of the moon on their lives in spreadsheets and documents;  use scientific process to prove facts and fictions about births, deaths and accidents in spread sheets. After their research is complete, students create webpages to summarize their information and comment on the webpages. For those students who are available, we will Skype chat about their research. To complete the project, students take a final survey and share their reflections about what they have learned. They will receive iCollaboratory Badges and certificates for completing the project.
In order to draw statistical conclusions, Austrian students started collecting data that they believe will show an influence of the moon is likely.  Austrian students started their research and investigation in September 2012 and their website is now ready other students to use for research and comments. Please review the results that are in progress in the Austrian web site and then go to the forum titled "Comments for Austrian Students" to post your comments.

iCollaboratory project activities include participating in a demographic survey; learning about Luna, Earth's only natural satellite; brainstorming in a Wiki about what effects the moon has on people; sharing moon images, video and results of Wiki brainstorming in a project website;  taking a final survey; and writing a reflection. The project will last approximately six weeks.

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