Summer Fun Activity: Solar Observation

Summer Fun Activity: Solar Observation

Summer Fun Activity: Solar Observation

Summer is a great time to observe the sun!  (No — of course, not directly!)

Seeing the Invisible: A Lesson Giving Students an Opportunity to Discover Ultraviolet and Infrared Radiation Coming From the Sun is a free solar observation lesson from NASA.

Using an engage-explore-explain-elaborate-evaluate framework, this 24-page download includes three activities and two experiments exploring ultraviolet and infrared radiation.  After the investigations, the student will have:

  • Understood what sun products claim to protect consumers from.
  • Studied the areas of the spectrum in which the sun emits light.
  • Recorded a temperature reading from an invisible part of the Sun’s spectra and used the data to write a persuasive article regarding the invisible radiation coming from the sun.
  • Detected ultraviolet radiation.
  • Observed structural features of the sun at different wavelengths.

Granted, this lesson plan does require objects that we may not have handy such as UV beads, a prism, or optional red and green filters.  However, these can be obtained from the recommended sources at a reasonable cost (see Additional Resources below for other options).

A student book with data collection sheets is also available.

This solar observation lesson makes a great transition from summer to homeschool!


Additional Resources

Summer Fun Activity: Solar ObservationUV Beads
Change color when exposed to sunlight.

Equilateral Glass Prism
Currently best choice for the cost.

Red and Green FiltersRed and Green Filter
These are a bit different than the gel filters recommended.  However, for those interested in doing the optional activity, it is a great option for the cost.  (Just hold them up to your eyes to look at the M&Ms.)

Summer Fun Activity: Sun PrintsSummer Fun Activity: Sun Prints
Fun go-along activity.

Solar Cycles: A Unit StudySolar Cycles: A Unit Study
For more sun investigations.