Fun in the Sun Science

By Melissa Taylor

Science
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When you think summer, you probably think hot sun, right? Well, using this hot sun, you can create fun learning science activities for your kids.

 

Black vs. White Heat Absorption

We compared two black and white materials — water and crayons — to see if we could determine if black absorbed more heat than the white.

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Water:

1. Wrap black and white paper each around two glasses filled halfway with water.
2. Leave both glasses in the hot sun.
3. Measure the temperatures. Compare.

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Coloring Crayons:

1. Set out a black and a white crayon on a piece of colored paper in the sun.
2. Watch and notice what happens every hour.
3. Make a conclusion based on your observations.

 

Organic vs. “Regular” Sunscreen

I just bought organic sunscreen after reading horror stories about the chemicals in so-called regular sunscreen. But, I wondered how effective my new sunscreen would be. So I set up an experiment for us to do outside in the sun.

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1. Spray a design on a piece of colored paper using regular sunscreen.
2. Repeat using the organic sunscreen.
3. Compare. Is there any difference?
4. Predict. Will this translate to your skin?

 

Purify Dirty (or Salty) Water

Apparently this sun and water experiment is something one can do in an emergency situation if you need clean water. How cool is that!?

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1. Mix salt in a bowl of water. Add food coloring and spices to make it look polluted.
2. Place a cup in the bowl of water – make sure the water doesn’t get in.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put a small pebble in the center, right over the empty cup.
4. Observe what happened. Can you make any scientific statements about why this happened?

The water will condense and evaporate. When it does, you will notice clean water droplets on the underside of the plastic wrap. It will then “rain” at the lowest point — the area above the cup — and your cup will get purified drinking water. (Theoretically.)

 

Sun Heat Melting Craft

This is a good experiment for younger learners.

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1. Put crayons on a canvas. Use thick crayons and crayon shavings. Predict which will melt faster.
2. Observe and make a conclusion. Which thickness melts faster with heat?

 

White Light Colors

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1. Use a prism or a clear water glass filled with water and a piece of white paper.
2. Hold it up to the sun and look down. see if you can make a rainbow on a piece of white paper.
3. What colors do you see?

Did you notice that the white light contained the spectrum of colors? (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet — ROY G. BIV)

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