- Have students place their plates and cups in a sunny spot near a window, or outside in direct sunlight, preferably on a lawn. (Do not place the plates on hot pavement in the sun. The heat from the already-warm surface will affect the results.)
- Instruct students to make their first observations after about 15 minutes, using a toothpick to test the softness of the candies. Depending on the air temperature, some of the chocolate candies may begin to soften by this time.
- Have students continue to make observations at 10–15 minute intervals, until at least one of the candies has become very soft. Some chocolate candies will hold their shape even when they are very soft.
- Tell students to bring their plates indoors (or away from the window) and observe the condition of the chocolate candy under each cup. Ask students to rank their candies from least melted to most melted (1 for least softened or melted, 4 for the most softened or melted.
- Make a chart on the board and let each group report its results.
Keywords: lesson | experiment | sun | sunlight | energy | heat | temperature | s’mores | solar radiation
- Moreno N., and B. Tharp. (2011). The Science of Global Atmospheric Change Teacher’s Guide. Third edition. Baylor College of Medicine. ISBN: 978-1-888997-76-7.
- Chart by M.S. Young © Baylor College of Medicine.
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My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
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Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education