Mystery Class Update: March 5, 2004

Today's Report Includes:

Is Everything "Leaping" Together for You?
February 29 was Leap Day, and it's said that the Roman calendar was reformed to add this Leap Day so that it would better synchronize with the seasons. We won't have another Leap Day for another four years, but luckily, that's not the case for your fifth set of sunrise/sunset data, which has now "leaped" on to your digital doorstep.
Are you noticing some interesting changes in your graph? Is it "in sync"?

 Plot today's data, look at your graph carefully, and then try to answer:

Challenge Question #2:
"Can you predict what your graph will look like on March 20, 2004? Why do you think so?"

(To respond to this question, please follow the instructions below.)

 By the way, what's the "standing" of your eggs these days? There's still time to test this "eggcellent" experiment before, during and after the Equinox: The "Powers" of the Equinox

Longitude Clues Are Coming Soon
Over the past weeks, the weekly sunrise/sunset data has allowed you to determine quite a bit about the Latitude of each Mystery Class.

In next week's Update, we'll provide the long-awaited Longitude Clues and instructions. These clues will help you estimate the APPROXIMATE Longitude of the Mystery Classes. You'll need to follow the instructions carefully. But be patient--it will be worth it!

After the Longitude Clues, we'll post more clues each week for five weeks. These additional clues will provide information on geography, culture, language, history, and other topics, to help you narrow your search for your secret friends until the time when you tell us where you think the 10 secret Mystery Classes are located.

"They're beginning to narrow it down", says Massachusetts teacher Holly Cerullo. Watch this very helpful video about the coming Longitude Clue:

 Countdown to Longitude Video Clip Tips

(For those of you who cannot view video, here is a summary of Holly's quote in the video: "On the Spring Equinox, if you know the time of sunrise in Greenwich England, and the time that the sun rose in that city, there is a math process of subtracting the time and calculating that in number of degrees from Greenwich England which gives you your east and west Longitude--and that's a wonderful math problem. Now they have the Longitude so they know where on a straight line the city could possibly be located. So they're beginning to narrow it down.")

This Week's Sunrise/Sunset Times
Remember, the secret Mystery sites recorded their times last Monday, the same day you collected your own local sunrise/sunset data.

Note to Teachers: Plan Ahead and Mark Your Calendars
Here's the 2004 Mystery Class Schedule so you know what to expect from Journey North. Please be sure to plan ahead.

 February 6- April 16: Each Friday, Sunrise/Sunset Times are posted for the ten Mystery Sites. March 12: The "Longitude Clue" is posted. March 19, 26, April 2, 9 & 16: Interdisciplinary clues from the Mystery Sites are posted each week. (Please Note--out of fairness to all participants, we will only post the clues on their scheduled dates.) April 23: Deadline for Your Answers! No late entries will be accepted (out of fairness to all participants, no exceptions.) April 30: Mystery Sites Revealed! May 7: Meet Your Mystery Friends!

How to Respond to Today's Challenge Questions:

IMPORTANT: Answer only ONE question in each e-mail message.

1. Address an e-mail message to: jn-challenge-mclass@learner.org
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #2
3. In the body of EACH message, give your answer to ONE of the questions above.

The Next Mystery Class Update Will Be Posted on March 12, 2004