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Mystery Class Update: April 2, 2004

Today's Report Includes:

No April Fooling--More Clues Have Arrived!
Your mystery friends wouldn't trick you. Along with sending their latest set of the sunrise/sunset data below, you'll find the latest clues and an audio/video clip from one of them too. We'll post clues for just the next two weeks. Pay close attention, because the clues will continue to get more specific each time, and help bring you closer to unlocking the mystery.

A "Big" Teacher Tip
Teacher Marsha Lodge from RHAM Middle School in Hebron Connecticut sent her tip on organizing students for Mystery Class using a big map for the whole class. Take a look to see if it will help your class:

All Things Being Equal? Discussion of CQ #3
Some of you noticed on the Equinox that many locations did not appear to have exactly twelve hours of equal day and night. So we asked you "Why don't all locations appear to have EXACTLY twelve hours of day and night on the Equinox?"

Congratulations to St. John Greek School Group 3 in Florida, which concisely and correctly answered that: "There are several reasons why not all places on Earth receive 12 hours of daylight and night during the Equinox. One of these reasons is because photoperiod may be seen and recorded improperly. Another reason is that refraction of the sunlight through the atmosphere can cause a distorted image, affecting sunrise and sunset times."

Unlock all the details about why all the locations don't have exactly 12 hours on the Equinox:

Time Slipping Away?
Something's happened to the sunrise/sunset times for Mystery Classes #3 and #10. No April fooling, these are their actual times. Which makes us ask you:
Challenge Question #4:
"What do you notice in this week's sunrise/sunset times for Mystery Classes #3 and #10? What do you think happened? Why doesn't this change the photoperiod trend lines on your graph for these Mystery Classes?"

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

Scrambled? Fried? Overeasy? Upright?
Time's Up! Your egg balancing testing should be complete. But what have you concluded from your testing? Review your test results and then let us know:

Challenge Question #5:
"Is there some sort of cosmic 'balance' that makes eggs stand on their own on the Equinoxes, but not on other days?

"Describe the results of your egg balance tests. How many eggs balanced during each test week?

From these results, can you draw any conclusion about whether eggs balance any better on the Equinox than during the other four weeks of testing? Any worse? About the same?"

By the way, we'd LOVE to see any of your "eggceptional" pictures!

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

Important ADVANCE Notice to Teachers: Rules for Preparing Your Answer
We'll provide new clues from the Mystery Classes for the next two weeks, and then your answers will be due by the April 23 deadline.

Complete instructions on how and when to submit your answers will be provided in the next two Updates.

In the meantime, as teachers, you understand the importance of students carefully reading and following instructions for properly submitting your answer. So we want to take a moment now to alert you in advance to a few of the very important rules that you'll need to follow:

1. Send your answer IN THE BODY of an e-mail (No Attachments!)
2. Be sure to INCLUDE YOUR GRADE IN THE SUBJECT LINE of your E-mail (If you don't, your answer will be judged with the Grade 12 entries.)
(To be fair to everyone, any answers sent after that date will not be accepted.)

4. WARNING: DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ANSWER CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU SEND IT IN! Be careful, and make sure you have your answers the way you want them:

  • Once you've submitted your answer, you may not change it or try to send it in again.
  • Only one answer from each class will be accepted. And once your answer is received, we cannot change or correct your mistakes (even simple ones like transposed locations). So be sure to double check your answer before submitting!

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.

CLUES from Your Mystery Friends
Here is the second set of interdisciplinary clues from the Mystery Sites themselves.

Note to Teachers: Plan Ahead and Mark Your Clues Calendar
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:
2. In the Subject Line of your message write: Challenge Question #4 (OR #5)
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 April 9, 2004

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