The next bit of data you need to collect is your latitude. This is a number that represents one of imaginary lines on the earth. The equator is represented by zero (0). You an find your latitude from this NASA website.

How tall is the object whose shadow you measured? Measure from the ground to the top of the object. Obviously it is easier to choose an object whose top you can reach. You don't have to use the same object every time, but using the same object makes it easier. The units don't matter, but whatever units you use to measure the object, use the same units to measure the shadow.

The first thing you should record is your location. This could just be the name of your city, town or village. If you live in a large city, you might want to include some extra information, like which side of town (north side) or the specific region, district or neighborhood.


HOW TO Collect the data

How long was the shadow at the time you measured it? Remember, you will try to measure the length of the shadow five times on any day you are taking measurements. You will use the same units you used to measure the object height to measure the shadow length, then convert it to a percentage. Learn how by following this link.

Shadow Direction


In which direction was the shadow pointed? For this you will need a compass. A digital compass is best, since you will record the direction as a number between 0 and 360. You may be used to using cardinal direction words like north, south, or southeast and northwest, but we use the numerical equivalents. The image below should be helpful. If you want to print up a copy, get a pdf by following this link.

On any day you record data, try to record the data at five times during the day. Specifically,

10:00 a.m.               11:00 a.m. Daylight Savings Time (DST)

11:00 a.m.                12:00 noon (DST)

12:00 noon                 1:00 p.m. (DST)

1:00 p.m. (13:00)        2:00 p.m. (DST)

2:00 p.m. (14:00)        3:00 p.m. (DST)

So what data is included?

Shadow length


For this project you will need to collect data. Once you have collected enough data you should review it, analyze it and begin to notice patterns. Hopefully you will also share the data with others from different places around the world and they will share their data with you. That way you can see how patterns might be different in different locations.

So what data will you collect?

Make sure that you record the the date every time you collect data on shadows. You will need to record the day, the month and the year.