Using Heat from the Sun
- Encourage the students to ask additional questions and think of variations for the experiment.
- Have students compare the levels of heat absorption among cups of different colors. Or have them examine the effects on water temperature when they place cups on a reflector made of aluminum foil, on black paper (which absorbs heat), on a grassy surface, and/or on a paved surface.
- Challenge students to design their own solar water heaters. Have them draw their designs and/or build their heaters from recycled materials.
- In the story, Mr. Slaptail’s Curious Contraption, Mr. Slaptail builds a solar water heater to supply his house with hot water. Ask students, Do you think that this is a practical use of solar power? Encourage students to conduct research in the library or on the Internet to learn what they can about houses that use power from the sun for heat, electricity and/or hot water.
Keywords: lesson | experiment | extensions | sun | energy | Earth | heat | energy source | weather | light | sunlight | temperature | solar | environment | solar energy | solar power
- Moreno N., and B. Tharp. (2011). The Science of Global Atmospheric Change Teacher’s Guide. Third edition. Baylor College of Medicine. ISBN: 978-1-888997-76-7.
- Photo of a solar panel courtesy of Thomas Spring, released into the public domain.
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Funded by the following grant(s)
My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932
Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education