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Alpha science classroom: Understanding thermal power with a pop can

Views: 3     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-07-28      Origin: Site

Not only can the sun bring us light, but also solar energy can bring us the best clean energy, so what is solar thermal energy?  Today, Alpha Science Classroom reveals the magic of solar thermal energy for children through an environmental science experiment.  At the same time, through this interesting kids science experiment activity, children will start their journey to explore the sun.  

Alpha science classroom: Understanding thermal power with a pop can Materials

  • 6 empty soda pop cans

  • Paint (6 different colors)

  • 1 Paintbrush

  • Outside thermometer or an app/website that provides local weather

  • Cooking thermometer

  • Here is an example of what you will need- Click for the link

  • Water

  • 1 Funnel

  • 1 Bucket

  • 1 Measuring cup

  • Data collection notebook (any notebook will work or a sheet of paper)

Alpha Science Classroom: Understanding thermal power with a pop can Steps

step 1

First, the children prepare 6 soda cans for the experiment. Empty the original liquid from the can, clean it up, and let them dry.


Step 2

Next, the children paint the jars with different colors. Make sure to paint the entire can (even the top) so that the original markings do not show up. In addition, be sure to choose a variety of colors from dark to light. The paint colors we recommend are as follows: black, white, green, purple, dark blue, and light blue/cyan. Note: You may need to apply multiple layers of paint.

Step 3

Then, the children filled the jar with water. To ensure that all cans start at the same temperature, fill the bucket with water and take water from the bucket to keep it consistent. With the help of a funnel, fill each jar with 3/4 cup of water. Before discarding the bucket, take a temperature reading to understand the basic temperature of the water. We recommend starting with a lower water temperature.

the fourth step

The children put canned food in a sunny place to use the most heat. Leave the cans outside for a day, at least six hours. If the cans end up in the shade over time, move them to a place completely exposed to the sun.

Step 5

Throughout the day, use a cooking thermometer to chart the temperature change of the water in each soda can. Hourly, at about the same time, use a thermometer to plot the temperature of each can and the temperature outside.

You can use the table below to easily organize the data and view the temperature throughout the day.

Example: Basic water temperature at 10:00 am: _________

Alpha science classroom: Understanding thermal power with a pop can scientific principles

The Alpha Science Class tells the children that the sun also has an incredible heart. Solar heat or solar thermal energy is a form of energy that uses solar energy to heat objects. When light energy from the sun hits atoms, it generates heat. When atoms are activated by heat, heat energy is generated. Let's break it down further.

All objects in our universe are composed of matter and energy. If we look at the matter with a magnifying glass, we will see that all matter is made up of tiny molecules (groups of atoms). In cold objects, molecules move very slowly and have limited energy. When you start heating an object, the molecules accelerate; the faster they move, the hotter the object becomes. Sunlight can actually cause this molecular reaction and generate environmentally friendly heat.

In this environmental science experiment, we will passively collect heat from the sun and hot matter.

It is important to show that dark objects absorb light of all wavelengths and therefore convert more solar energy into heat. The more sunlight an object absorbs, the more heat! Colors like white have the opposite effect, absorbing limited light energy, thereby generating less heat energy. With this information, it is easy to understand why black and dark purple cans absorb the most heat, while white and green cans produce the least temperature rise.

Through this interesting environmental science experiment, the children understand how important solar thermal energy can be for human beings!  Alpha Science Classroom hopes that these kids' science experiments can open the way for children to explore science, let them know about the science around them, and become the most intelligent scientists.  


Manufacturer:XinXiang Alpha Manufacturing Ltd
Address: West Of Bei Hean Road, Muye District,
 Xin xiangCity,He Nan Province,China,Post Code 453000