We are only a few days away from the longest day of the year when we celebrate the life-giving power of the Sun. So today I want to move beyond melted crayons and share 10 fantastic experiments to help kids "play with the sun" and learn more about solar energy.
An optional lesson extension is challenging teams of students to build unique solar ovens. This one-minute video shows how junior high school students in California built ovens for specific world regions and cooked regional cuisine.
This handout from Scholastic contextualizes the solar oven activity by explaining how solar ovens are used around the world. This page also relates solar cooking to environmental friendliness. Teachers can use this page to develop a 10-minute mini lesson to present on the day before the solar oven challenge.
This NASA lesson plan challenges students to build simple solar powered ovens. The lesson starts with a three-minute video about living on the Moon and ends with students eating s'mores. Meeting the solar oven challenge requires making accurate measurements, devising a strategy for scientific inquiry, and completing other activities that meet states' education standards for math, science and critical thinking.