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Experiments For Kids

Kids soak up learning just like solar panels soak up the sun. Invest in their learning with science experiments that will teach them about how solar energy works. Children love hands on activities, and the following are great ways to incorporate instruction with fun.

One way to put perspective into how solar energy can operate at home is to do a site evaluation. Have kids explore their outdoor area to see which spots in the yard get the most amount of sun, looking for things that may affect how much sunlight hits different areas. Have them observe things like trees or structures that may block out light. Plot out what time of day is brightest in various locations. Also, have them study up on their regional weather to get a sense of their overall climate and seasonal conditions.

Another practical way to understand how the sun’s rays move throughout the day is by learning how to use a horizontal sundial. To go over the basics and to help explain how the sun travels, look at this lesson. With representations on how the sun moves around the earth at various times of the year kids will be able to learn how to use this age old resource. Also included are directions for how to make a shadow plot. These provide an effective visual tool for understanding the sun’s movement.

Using water is also a great means of signifying the solar process. Age appropriate lessons like the ones on Green-Planet-Solar-Energy have examples of how water and sun power can be combined for useful ventures. Included are activities that lend to an understanding of how to naturally purify water. The water from the experiments should be not really be used for drinking, though. These are for instructional purposes only, and if not done properly the water may not be safe to ingest.

To teach kids how to purify water using solar energy, perform this experiment with them using things around the house. The process of water evaporation can transform not so fresh water into drinkable water by using heat and a homemade dripping filter.

Another way to demonstrate how to harness the power of the sun to make a water purifier is to set up a solar still. This practical knowledge shows kids how to extract water from vegetation.

You can also do a radiant water heat loss investigation. This experiment looks at the effects of the sun on water with altered conditions. By gaging the temperature of the water in different colored containers and with varied casings, kids can learn how the sun heats up materials by comparison.

Conducting hands on experiments that hold real life applications is an effective and useful way to teach kids about solar power.

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