Groundhog Day;

Science or Superstition?

Groundhog Day brings together three things of pre-scientific knowledge.

1.It takes a sign of spring

2.animals emerging from hibernation

3.and a sign of winters clear, cold days…

Combine them with a date that has astronomical significance and you may think you really have something. Unfortunately, each of these elements works better as a general rule of thumb than as a concrete prediction. Put them together in a specific way, and you end up with a superstition: there's no evidence of winters being any harsher or milder after the groundhog sees his shadow. However, each of these elements individually is a testament to ancient people's ability to carefully observe their environment and recognize patterns — which is pretty much what science is all about!

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Below is the 2nd and 3rd grade class projects. Page down to see the 4th thru 8th grade class projects.

Groundhog Day brings together three things of pre-scientific knowledge.

1.It takes a sign of spring

2.animals emerging from hibernation

3.and a sign of winters clear, cold days…

Combine them with a date that has astronomical significance and you may think you really have something. Unfortunately, each of these elements works better as a general rule of thumb than as a concrete prediction. Put them together in a specific way, and you end up with a superstition: there's no evidence of winters being any harsher or milder after the groundhog sees his shadow. However, each of these elements individually is a testament to ancient people's ability to carefully observe their environment and recognize patterns — which is pretty much what science is all about.

4th thru 8th grade