One day before the spring equinox, a substitute teacher and 25 sixth-graders from Longmont’s Flagstaff Academy file out to the school’s garden area for their bi-weekly class with school garden teacher Allison Cole.
“Let’s form a circle around the sundial,” she says. Students jostle for positions on a concrete pad where Cole holds a globe. On the ground, students had previously marked the progression of the sun’s shadow during the winter solstice. Cole asks a student to put his finger on the top of the sundial so that others can mark where its shadow falls on this day. Students note the differences between the winter, spring and summer sun and how that relates to the globe and seasons.