There’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!
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?
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?
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?
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.