Solar Energy and Water

Using a piece of black construction paper and a piece of white paper, we'll set two bowls outside and see if one of them warms up faster!

  1. Ages: 3 - 8

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    We wanted our test to be scientifically accurate, so we got out our measuring cup.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    We filled a jar with water from the kitchen sink, and took everything outside. One bowl on white paper, and one on black. Maddie measured the first cup...

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    ...and poured it into the bowl. The same went for the other side (black). If you'd rather use ice to help with the test instead of a thermometer, you could place a cube of ice into each bowl.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    When the water was in the bowls, we waited a couple of minutes. Can you tell a difference, yet?

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    After waiting a few more minutes, we tested it again.... is it much different? Yes! One is warmer!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Step 6

    About 85 degrees for the white....

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Done!

    and about 91 for the black! "Because the sun is attracted to the black, so it gets hotter faster!" concluded Madeleine. Exactly! The black absorbed the sun's energy, and the white reflected it!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

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