Equality During the Equinox Doesn’t Add Up – VP of Curriculum Dee McDonald

I think equality is important. That is why I love math. To have one set of numbers balance another set of numbers is the most perfect outcome of all. So imagine my surprise when I learned that the time of year when we celebrate having the same amount of daylight as nighttime is not equal at all!

I always taught my students that during the vernal and autumnal equinox there was an equal amount of sunlight as darkness.  I even looked the definition up in the Merriam Webster dictionary: The vernal equinox is considered the first day of spring: finally, the day and night are of equal length.

Joe Hanson from “It’s Okay to Be Smart” created this short video that you can show your child.  This video explains why teaching about the equal amounts of daytime as nighttime during the equinox is not a complete falsehood, but it also is technically incorrect.

But none of this really matters. The real importance of the Vernal Equinox (in the Northern Hemisphere at least) is the weather is getting warmer after quite a long winter, and the sun will begin to stay with us much longer. It’s sure starting to feel like spring and that is something to celebrate.

Most importantly, on March 20 of this year, you can stand an egg on its end!  This is a fun experiment to do with your child.  Ask them if they think this happens only on the equinox.

It’s heartbreaking to discover that what I thought were truths surrounding the vernal equinox turned out to be myths.  You can really balance an egg on its bottom any time during the year.

Still, I like the tradition of egg balancing during the equinox. So, go balance an egg with your family and friends and have fun enjoying spring!

Comments are closed.