Saturday, July 16, 2016

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The Powerful Sun Preschool Science Experiment

Since the sun is the center of our solar system, it made sense to begin a space theme/astronomy unit with a quick and easy sun preschool science experiment!

This is such a breeze to set up and yet it makes such a vivid point: the sun is powerful! The entire lesson (and science experiment) took less than 15 minutes, so it could easily be combined with other activities or it could be an entire science lesson for a day. Or you could call it a science snack...  ;)

Sidenote: This experiment is best for a hot summer day!

Anyway, here's the sun science experiment and lesson:

1- Look outside and find the hottest thing you can find. (the sun)

2- The sun is so hot because it is made from billions of explosions. Luckily, those explosions are 93 million miles away! 

3- Go outside.  It would take a jet airplane (going 500 miles per hour) just over 21 years to fly from the Earth to the sun. Light travels much only takes light about 8.5 minutes to travel that distance. So the light you feel on your face was on the sun less than 10 minutes ago!

4- Go back inside. Do you think the sunlight has enough energy left when it gets to Earth to melt chocolate chips?  My kids were all sure it would, so I went on to the next question:

5- Make a hypothesis: How long would it take sunlight to melt chocolate chips?

6- Test your hypothesis: Set the chocolate chips up on pretzels and place them outside in a sunny spot to melt!  Time how long it takes!

You may need to remind your kiddos that chocolate chips have enough wax or butter in them that they usually hold their shape when they melt. But, if you touch them, you will know if it is melted or not!

These looked like they were starting to melt, so we had to start "testing" them about every 30 seconds:

7- Analyze, discuss, share...and eat!!  How long did it take? Would you expect similar results in the morning? At night? In the winter? Our chocolate chips took less than five minutes to melt. We live in Houston, and it was about 95 degrees outside.  :)

I'd love to hear how long it takes in your area! Be sure to tell me the temperature and where you're from!!

Do you love science and space? Be sure to check out our collection of more than 150 preschool science experiments and activites (many are wonderful for older kids too...I mean, really, who doesn't love chocolate pretzels?!!) and our upcoming space science experiments and activities (I have a whole set of space themed experiments for you...I'll be posting about them very soon)!!

Happy Educating,

I may share at any of these parties!

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