Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day Two of Solar Science Week

This morning we woke to this:

Lots of fog.
   Although we are in a coastal area prone to fog, this is usually our sunniest time of the year.

So book work it was-- at least for the morning time until that fog burned off.  

Graphing:   We worked on graphing the average temperature's and distances of the planets in our solar systems.  Not surprising the further away the planets are from the sun the cooler they get.  Except for Venus and the furthest planets Uranus and Neptune, Venus suffers from a bad case of greenhouse effect bringing its average temperature to 482 degrees Celsius.  Temperatures level off around Uranus and Neptune at -193 degrees Celsius because the sun's heat is no longer affecting their temperature.

Hands On:  Next we moved on to learning about how to read an utility bill and figure out the different calculations one finds on  their bill.    Comparing our water bill to an average home of six, we found we love our hot baths and showers.

Experiment!  Using these nifty little beads:

That change from white to colors in the sun

 we tested the validity of waiting for waterproof sunscreen to dry before getting in the water.

First we applied sunscreen and let dry 15 minutes as instructed on the back of the bottle.

Beads with freshly applied sunscreen.
Next our beads took a 30 second swim.

Fifteen and Thirty minutes later we compared our sun-screened  beads to beads without any sunscreen.  

Turns out sunscreen doesn't stay put--waterproof or not. 

Reading:  While we were waiting for our experiment, we finished reading The Kids' Solar Energy Book learning about Active and Passive Solar Systems as well as Solar Cells.

Construction:   Wanting to build something new with their Solar Power Kits, E-R and I-E went to work.

The models they built yesterday didn't move very quickly so they hoped that building one model and using two solar cells with it would speed things up. 

Mission Accomplished.  

Writing:  Compare Active Solar Systems to Passive Solar Systems

Be sure to check out Day One of Solar Science Week as well as Day Three and Day Four

and cross your fingers that tomorrow will bring sunny weather our way.


  1. What a fun-filled day! I love how you applied what you learned to interpreting your utility bill!

    And the experiment with the beads was awesome. I guess we will know not to invest in waterproof sunscreen in the future, lol! How neat, though, that your children were able to figure that out and discover it for themselves in a hands-on fashion. Love it!

    Can't wait to see what else you come up with! :-)

    Many blessings,

  2. Love your study. I just did a solar system study with my younger kiddos. I am pinning this idea to use when they get a little older. Thanks! I am starting a Linky Party if you want to link up at http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2011/10/first-ever-linky-party.html

  3. those solar beads look like fun! I am wondering if the sunscreen is designed to stay on skin...maybe it slid right off the beads?

    love the cat photo, our cat is always inserting himself into whatever we are doing... :)

  4. I like the Solar Bead experiment. Science and Health are my favorite subjects.

  5. I love it! I do wonder if sunscreen works a little better on skin because it is absorbed?


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