Discover how the sun transfers thermal energy and which objects absorb more heat with this science experiment for kids.
Elementary Science Experiments
Are your students learning about how the sun produces heat and transfers thermal energy to objects? If you are looking for a hands-on science investigation, you have come to the right place!
To complete this experiment, students should do the following:
- Gather your materials. Put each material type in its own clear plastic bag.
- Find a sunny space outside. Place each bag in the direct sun on top of a white sheet of paper.
- After 15 minutes, measure the temperature outside each bag with the outdoor thermometer. Measure the inside temperature with the cooking thermometer. Record those temperatures.
- After 15 more minutes, collect the same data.
- Move the samples to a shaded location and repeat the experiment in the new shaded place.
Students will record their observations on a recording sheet and answer questions before conducting the experiment as well as after.
Through this activity, students will investigate if the sun transfers heat to different objects.
Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding
A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your science lessons.
Use this science investigation to enhance learning through whole class lessons, science center activities, or remote learning assignments.
If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts:
🆘 Support Struggling Students
For students who may need additional support, consider limiting the number of items used in the experiment. Rather than using all four materials, consider only using two.
➕ Challenge Fast Finishers
If there are students looking for a challenge, encourage them to find additional materials to repeat the experiment with.
Make sure to check out additional resources that cover thermal energy!
Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students
Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the PDF or editable Google Slides version of this resource.
This resource was created by Katy Blevins, a teacher in Georgia and a Teach Starter Collaborator.