Grade Level: 4th - 6th; Type: Physics
To investigate if heat from direct sunlight is hotter than heat from reflected sunlight.
- Does sunlight produce heat?
- Does reflected sunlight produce heat?
- Which produces more heat direct or reflected sunlight?
Sunlight produces heat.
- 2 thermometers
- modeling clay
- sunlight shining through a window
- 2 tables
- Gather the necessary materials.
- Start by determining if the thermometers record temperatures equally. Place the thermometers close together in the same room. Wait five minutes. Then read the temperatures and record. Note any difference between the temperatures and thermometers.
- Use the modeling clay to make stands for the thermometers and mirror. Be sure the bulb end of the of the thermometers is showing and the other end is in the clay.
- Place one table by a window where direct sunlight is shining through. Place the second table a short distance away from the window but out of the direct sunlight.
- Place the mirror on the table with receiving the direct sunlight. Position the mirror so that the sunlight reflects from the mirror and on to the other table. This will take some maneuvering to get the mirror and the tables set properly.
- Place one thermometer on the table in the direct sunlight and the only thermometer on the table out of the direct sunlight, but in the light being reflected by the mirror. Wait 10 minutes. Record the temperatures.
- Analyze the data and draw a conclusion.
Terms/Concepts: reflection: the return of light or heat after striking a surface; Sunlight produces heat.
“Sunlight and Solar Energy” at http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_topics/sunlight_a.html “The Basics of Light” at http://fuse.pha.jhu.edu/~wpb/spectroscopy/basics.html
Disclaimer and Safety Precautions
Education.com provides the Science Fair Project Ideas for informational
purposes only. Education.com does not make any guarantee or representation
regarding the Science Fair Project Ideas and is not responsible or liable for
any loss or damage, directly or indirectly, caused by your use of such
information. By accessing the Science Fair Project Ideas, you waive and
renounce any claims against Education.com that arise thereof. In addition, your
access to Education.com's website and Science Fair Project Ideas is covered by
on Education.com's liability.
Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all
individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea
should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental
or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all
materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For
further information, consult your state's handbook of Science Safety.