Science Friday’s virtual Sun Camp is a great way for families and educators to explore STEM with children ages 5-9. From now until mid-November, we'll update you weekly with educational resources about the Sun, give learners a chance to attend Q&As with experts, and provide additional learning opportunities.
In this activity, students review how human physical traits, such as eye color, are determined by specific segments of genes. Students will use basic crafts materials to build a simplified model of a pair of chromosomes that represents some of their own physical traits. Then students will compare and contrast their models, to determine which traits are most frequently found among their classmates and therefore can be called high frequency traits.
In this activity, students will assemble a small saltwater aquarium to raise and observe brine shrimp. Then students will observe and record the growth of brine shrimp through various stages of their life cycle, and examine their various anatomical features.
In this activity, students will learn about the two main types of fossils, body and trace fossils. Students will observe and examine a set of fossils to classify them as body fossils and trace fossils. Students also will act as paleontologists and try to identify each fossil.
Use household materials to investigate and explore your ability to smell an odor, then compare and contrast results to determine if some individuals have a better sense of smell than others. Observe the Maillard reaction and how different odor molecules are released into the air.
In this activity, students will learn how an electromagnet works by making a simple one. Using this knowledge, students will design a diagram to make a working speaker using household materials. Then students will follow instructions on one method of making a speaker, and test their own designs to compare results.
In this activity, students will learn about phosphorescence and how certain materials can absorb and store energy from a light source. Students will use critical thinking skills to hypothesize which type of light — incandescent, ultraviolet, infrared or fluorescent — will produce the brightest glow from a glow-in-the-dark star. Students will perform an experiment using cameras to observe the intensity of the resulting glow from each type of light source.
In this activity, to learn about the biological needs of mosses, students will grow and maintain their own moss terrarium. Through daily maintenance and observation, students will identify those factors necessary for the successful cultivation of moss.
Buildings that are called “green” or “environmentally sustainable” are designed to use energy as efficiently as possible. In Missouri, Washington University’s Tyson Living Learning Center achieves sustainability by incorporating green technologies in different ways, including the use of solar panels. In this activity, students will explore how solar panels work by building a simple circuit, a series circuit and a parallel circuit, using a solar panel to light a bulb and comparing which method yields the brightest light. Then students will build a solar-powered house using a shoebox, and test some variables to determine the most efficient way to harness solar energy to power a model home.
In this activity, students will use household materials to investigate and explore how the release of carbon dioxide gas from a chemical reaction can cause a small-scale explosion. Students then will experiment with variables to determine which factors launch a film canister the highest.