Posted on April 5, 2020

Super Solar Power!

🔅 Recommended Daytime Activity

Ninety years ago, Maria Telkes was fascinated with the Sun. She figured out how to use the Sun’s heat to warm up a whole house! Later, she invented a machine that could use the Sun’s power to turn saltwater into fresh (non-salty) water that we can drink.

Description

If you’ve seen Blaze help Darrington launch to the moon, you’ll know that the power of the Sun helped them get there. Let’s do a super solar power experiment! Let’s learn about how the Sun can turn saltwater into freshwater.

Materials 

☑ Bowl

☑ Salt

☑ Water

☑ Drinking glass

☑ Plastic wrap

☑ Something heavy (like a small rock)

Set Up 

Here’s how to explain this activity to your child:

  • Scientist Maria Telkes was fascinated with the big star at the center of the solar system. Ninety years ago, she invented a way to use the Sun’s power to take the salt out of seawater so people could drink it. Let’s try it!
  • First, let’s fill a bowl half way with water and then mix in a few spoonfuls of salt to make salt water. Now, let’s put a drinking glass inside of the bowl (making sure that the salt water doesn’t go into the glass).
  • Then let’s stretch plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and put a rock on top of the plastic wrap right over the cup. Let’s put it in a sunny window.
  • What do you think will happen? Let’s watch and see!

Extend the Learning

Watch Darrington and Blaze speed off to this solar-powered song during their mission to the moon!

Words to Use 


  • Sun – the star at the center of the solar system, which gives the Earth light and heat
  • Solar – related to the Sun
  • Salt– a white crystal that gives seawater its taste and is used for seasoning or preserving food
  • Seawater – water that has salt in it, like in the ocean
  • Experiment – to try something

Simplify


Do a simpler experiment to learn about the Sun’s power. Put a glass or jar with some water in it in the window. Mark how high the water is. Check again tomorrow and the next day. Does the water level change? Talk about how the Sun has the power to turn water into gas — which then floats out of the cup!

Stretch


Create an observation journal to track what happens to the experiment over time. Sample the water in the cup at the end. Does it taste salty at all? See if your child can explain what happened!

Why?


This experiment helps your inventor learn math, problem solving, and observation skills. Every time your inventor asks “WHY?” he or she is learning!

Conversation Starter


Try asking these questions at lunchtime or dinnertime:

Tell me the funniest/weirdest/silliest thing you learned recently!

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