This is Part Two of our Sun Science Workshop we hosted in the park this past July. I began writing this story last August and have had this half of the story in draft mode ever since. I thought it was high time I get it posted. I had tons of pictures and it was so hard to choose which pictures to share in this story, but here are just a few. We had a great turn out of kids and parents at this workshop, and it was lots of hands on learning fun.
Sun Science Workshop
Sun Science Workshop Part One: Sunprint Fabric Squares
Capture the power of the sun to make reverse photography on sunprint fabric
squares. Click on the link above to read about our fun adventure making sunprints.
Sun Science Workshop Part Two: Solar Power
Learn about solar power, create solar ovens, and learn about sun safety. Read below to
see part two of our adventure. We learned to capture solar energy to power solar ovens
Activities we did to capture the power of the sun:
1. Capture the energy of the sun in a small solar panel that converts
the energy into power to operate a motor and turn a fan. Each kid
was able to hold a small solar panel that was wired to a motor. The motor
turned an axel. The axel rotated and turned fan blades. I did not get a
close up shot of the kids as they held the solar panel. But they practiced
connecting the wires on the solar panel to the receptors on the motor.
Then they held the solar panel in direct sunlight, then hid it from the
light against their clothing creating an on / off effect of turning on the
fan. They were able to see that the sun was powering the motor with
energy when they exposed the panel to direct sunlight.
You can see a video similar to our experiment here:
2. Capture the energy of the sun in a gallon jar of water.
The energy heats the water and tea bags to make sun tea.
We brought sugar and the kids and parents could drink it
plain or sweetened.
3. Captured the energy of the sun by using a reflective shield.
shield. The energy of the sun reflected off the shield and into the jar,
warming the chocolate and the air inside the jar, and we made melted
chocolate or fondue.
4. Captured the energy of the sun in homemade solar ovens.
We captured the energy of the sun to make gooey smores, cheesy
nachos, and “limp” cookies.
Making solar ovens:
Materials needed for each child (individual, team, or family): empty pizza box or shoe box, foil, black construction paper, straw, plastic food wrap, paper plate, scissors, glue stick, glue, masking tape. Can use rolled up newspaper or bubble wrap to help insulate (we did not insulate ours at the workshop, but insulating will prevent heat loss through the cracks and lesson the loss due to wind).
Check out the video to see how the solar funnel oven works.
We discussed Sun Safety and the necessity of protection from sun burn or over exposure.
1. limit daily sun exposure
2. wear sun glasses to protect eyes
3. wear broad rimmed hats
4. wear protective clothing
5. wear sunscreen, and reapply sunscreen when playing in water
6. be sure to wear hot pads on your hands if you are
baking in a sun oven. Some solar ovens can get very hot.
Every family took home a free bottle of Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen.
Fellowship, Food, and Fun
We ate pizza, sandwiches, casseroles, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and yummy deserts.
We love to fellowship and enjoy eating together.
The kids love playing together on the playground. The younger ones are quite content to use the playground for the sake of play. The older ones often add in fun games to go along with the equipment, like king of the mountain, capture the flag, who can swing the highest and jump the farthest, and more. I am so glad they have a fun and safe place to play together and enjoy building friendships.
Genesis 1: 3-5
God said, “I command light to shine!” And light started shining. God looked at the light and saw that it was good. He separated light from darkness , and named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.” Evening came and then morning, that was the first day.
Genesis 1: 14-19
God said, “I command lights to appear in the sky and to separate day from night and to show the time for seasons, special days, and years. I command them to shine on the earth.” And that’s what happened. God made two powerful lights, the brighter one to rule the day and the other to rule the night. He also made the stars. Then God put these lights in the sky to shine on the earth, to rule day and night, and to separate light from darkness. God looked at what he had done, and it was good. Evening came and then morning, that was the fourth day.
Luke 1: 78
God’s love and kindness will shine upon us like the sun that rises in the sky.
Feel free to have your kids look up these verses, and copy them, or memorize them. Have them draw or paint a picture of what these verses mean to them. Have them write down a prayer to the Lord in response to these verses.
Further The Learning
I’ll post a future unit study about the sun and post a link to the story here. It is still in the works! (in draft mode…..oh to get caught up on everything!).
More About Our Workshops:
I am the Director of Take Action Tuesday, a volunteer program that encourages kids to learn in an hands on “active” way outdoors once a week. To be “active” in this sense (hands on) means to be learning while playing, sitting, standing (if able), reaching, investigating, walking (if able), and moving. Activities can be modified for those with physical limitations or special needs. Kids of all learning levels, physical levels, and those with special needs are welcome to come and explore. You can read several of our Take Action Tuesday stories here. Not all of the stories are posted, and some that are posted are not listed in this list. But this list will give you an introduction to some of our learning fun.
We spend so much time on our bottoms in our modern society (both kids and adults), learning with schoolwork, taking classes, using computers, cell phones, TV, video games and electronic gadgets, and riding on our bottoms as we travel from place to place, that we as a nation are becoming deprived in the area of physical activity. If you are not on an athletic team, or walking and biking to go places, or working on a farm, chances are you are not getting enough physical activity because most lifestyles today don’t support it.
Take Action Tuesday meets weekly in local parks to play and be active. Once a month, and some months up to four times, Take Action Tuesday holds a Workshop series in local parks and encourages kids in learning about science, technology, engineering, mathematics, life skills, community helpers, and more. These events usually last from 2 to 3 hours. We have had families join us from as far south as Greenville SC and as far north as Asheville NC. Once we had a family drive their RV from the beach in SC where they were staying for the summer, drive all the way to our workshop (a four hour drive) and then drive all the way back to the beach afterwards. How cool! This really blessed me to know that folks are enjoying these programs and want them and are willing to drive an hour or more (four hours) to join us. We are so excited to meet families from all over and from different walks of life.
I started this program two years ago as a way to encourage my own kids in keeping active while playing at the park, encouraging socialization and making lots of friends, and enjoying outdoor learning opportunities. We started inviting other families to come and it has grown and been an enjoyable activity for many families near and far. Everyone is welcome to attend.
I currently receive no sponsorship. If you would like to sponsor this program, please leave a comment below. Donations are welcome. Donations help pay for supplies and learning activities for the Take Action Tuesday programs such as science and art projects. Thank you.
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No Time For Flash Cards