Home Up Activities! Site Map Light Pollution What's New? Upcoming Events

Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activities: The Navigation Series

The following list contains paper plate activities with specific relevance to navigation.  Several C-Nav activities were developed and used in a celestial navigation class by Captain Jeff Sanders and Chuck Bueter at the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center in Bay Village, OH.  Text and images for those lesson plans have yet to be uploaded to this website.

Title Description Content
Altitude of the Noon Sun Demonstrate the relationships between the date, the altitude of the Sun at transit, the observer’s latitude, and the altitude of Polaris. Ref.
Compass Rose Design a compass rose showing the cardinal and inter-cardinal directions and label the traditional points in what is known as "boxing a compass."
Congruence Correlate declination/right ascension with latitude/longitude using intersecting plates.
Declination of Navigation Stars Demonstrate the relationships between the date, the altitude of the primary navigation stars at transit, the observer’s latitude, and the altitude of Polaris.
Dip Illustrate dip and the need to correct for it during sight reduction.
Directions at Sea Demonstrate the system of directions relative to the vessel used by sailors. Pix
Directions-Earth & Sky Establish multiple coordinate systems for determining directions from the Earth-bound perspective and when looking upward. Refs.
GHA, SHA, LHA Correlate Greenwich hour angle, sidereal hour angle, and local hour angle.
Latitude by Polaris Demonstrate how a navigator correlates the observed altitude of Polaris with her latitude. Refs.
Latitude Formula Illustrate why latitude equals the great circle distance from an observer's zenith to the celestial equator (Latitude =90-Ho +/- same/contrary declination).
Moon Finder Make a model to explain moon phases and create a moon dial akin to old volvelles to determine when and in which direction one can see any given phase. Ref.
Plate-a-tarium Build the ultimate plate model that depicts features of celestial sphere, indicates real time position of planets and zodiac, and illustrates rising and setting position of sun for any date. Pix
Platisphere Make an instrument akin to a planisphere that shows the position of the circumpolar stars for any given date and time. Ref.
Polynesian Practices Demonstrate techniques used by Polynesian wayfinders to determine their position, such as sighting on zenithal stars and interpreting wave patterns.
Polynesian Star Pairs Demonstrate how Polynesian wayfinders use star pairs to determine latitude and directions.
PP Planet Pointer Make a planet pointer akin to old volvelles to indicate the position of the planets in the sky for any given time. Refs.
Radar Plotting Simulate navigating with radar and tracking multiple targets. Determine other vessels’ courses, speeds, and closest points of approach.
Sub-Solar Cup Track the sub-solar path of the sun across a globe in real time to highlight the boundaries of the tropics and to illustrate an analemma. Ref.
The Nocturnal Make and use a nocturnal, an antique instrument that determined time from the position of the northern Guardian Stars.
Wayfinding Demonstrate the direction system used by Polynesian wayfinders who navigated the Pacific.
Wind Rose

Zenith Distance Visually show the relationship of altitude versus 90-Ho, the zenithal distance.

[Note: As we build this site we will be uploading much information that has already been published.  The far right column indicates what you will find if you click the links that are highlighted under the Title column.  "Ref" indicates that the material was previously published in the respective Proceedings of the Annual Great Lakes Planetarium Association Conference and the reference is cited.  As a membership benefit, GLPA members may order back issues from GLPA while supplies last.  "Pix" indicates that a picture or image(s) can be found at the Title's linked page.  "Text" indicates that you can find text or a write-up on the activity at the linked page,  though some instructions are admittedly sparse for now.]


Home Activities! Site Map Light Pollution What's New? Upcoming Events
The contents of this site may be reproduced for non-profit educational purposes only.  Please cite the contributing author  in credits.  
All other uses require the express written permission of the respective contributors.

Copyright 2012 Chuck Bueter.  All rights reserved.