The STAR of our Show’s a lot of talk about the planets these days (poor Pluto), but the main attraction of the solar system is keeping things in motion.  In honor of Space Week, I thought I would share some resources and experiments that will brighten your students’ week!



Weather Things: Sun, Air, Wind, and Atmosphere: The Sun

How the Universe Works: The Sun- Powering Existence

As you watch these clips, use the SOS: Paper Chat (pdf or vignette) to discuss the sun’s impact on weather, life, and the rest of the planets.  Fun Trivia: How long does it take for the sun’s light to arrive on planet earth?

Wonders of the Solar System: Empire of the Sun

Use the SOS: JigSaw (pdf or vignette) by assigning students different aspects and features of the sun (i.e.: water cycle, seasons, aurora borealis, solar storms) and then allowing them to explore these resources to gather supporting evidence and share back with the class. Fun Trivia: How many 100 watt bulbs can be powered by the sun’s energy for every meter squared of the earth’s surface?

Planet Earth: Pole to Pole

Watch this episode over a series of several days and allow students to show what they know by implementing the SOS: 25 Things You Didn’t Know (pdf or vignette). Have students pay particular attention to the impact the sun plays on earth. Fun Trivia: What powerful incentive to mother polar bears use to encourage their cubs to walk?

Skill Builders
Science Lab- Our Solar System
System Crossword

Use these interactive Skill Builders to allow your students time to research our solar system.  Upon completion, use the SOS: Table Top Texting (pdf or vignette) to share information learned.

Once your students have a better understanding of the sun, try these fun and simple experiments to investigate the sun’s power

  • Solar Cooker: Make smores, heat cheese on nachos, fry up a hotdog, or bake a cookie using a pizza box and the sun’s energy.
  • Sunscreen Test: Use different SPF of sunscreen and construction paper to show students why they need to lather up this summer
  • Ice Cube Melt: Have students predict which color will make an ice cube melt faster and then conduct the experiment.  Then, ask students what color is best to wear on a hot day. Flip this experiment around and ask students to create the best insulation for their ice cube.

 Register for the Virtual Field Trip to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center on Friday, May 1 @ 1pm ET.


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