Sun-Earth Day April 27, 2001


As part of NASA's Sun-Earth Day festivities, the Stanford SOLAR Center will host a special webcast where students will present results from a variety of solar activities and discuss their findings. The webcast format will allow students and teachers from across the country to interact with their student peers in our california studio via the chatroom and compare results from other schools. We'll also have guest scientists on hand to help answer questions.

Students will be able to submit their results to our website and compare with others. Some teachers may desire to make a short (2-3 minute max) video of their students presenting the results that we could later air during our webcast. Send your videos, photos or printed results to the following address to have them included in the webcast. Please ensure that the material arrives no later than April 20. Electronic results can be sent to

Paul Mortfield
Solar Observatories Group
HEPL Annex B-208
Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305

The activities are arranged by grade level; Grade 2-4, Grade 5-8 and Grade 9-12. Note that there's overlap in the ages for the activities. You could realistically do Grade 2-5, Grade 5-10.

For other questions you can contact:

Paul Mortfield - Stanford SOLAR Center
Elaine Lewis - Sun-Earth Day Coordinator, NASA

Grade 2-4: UV Sensitive Beads - Using UltraViolet sensitive beads that change color when exposed to sunlight, conduct experiments to test the UV blocking capabilities of different sunscreens, sunglasses and other materials. The UV beads can be ordered from:

Educational Innovations, Inc.
362 Main Avenue
Norwalk, CT 06851
(888) 912-7474
Catalog: EDI # UV-ast
(assorted colors with approximately 240 beads per bag @$6.95, 1 bag should be enough for a class of 30 students)

Grade 5-9: Build a Spectroscope - build a working spectroscope and use it to analyse the colors of light. The spectroscope posters can be ordered and come in class sets of 45. You will need 1 diffraction grating for each spectroscope. The greatings can be ordered from Edmund Scientific either online or by phone from the data below. Get the workbook for the activity.

Edmund Online Catalog. link to GRATINGS or 1-800-728-6999

Catalog # CR30395-02 (pkg of 25) $22.95
Catalog # CR30501-83 (pkg of 80) $49.95

Grade 9-12: This grade level has two available Determine the rotation rate of the sun by using images from the SOHO spacecraft. (activities posted soon)

This grade level can also build a soda bottle magnetometer to measure the effects of solar storms on the Earth's magnetic field. Courtesy Dr. Sten Odenwald at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

(scenes from solar webcasts in 2000)

return to Stanford SOLAR Center