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Feeling Hot! Hot! Hot!

It is a hot, hot sunny day. Adults, kids, and even dogs crowd under a tree in the shade. Why? To stay cooler, of course!
See For Yourself!
Get a thermometer and a timer of some sort. You can use your watch if you have one.

Check the temperature in the sun.

  • Find a sunny spot.
  • Put the thermometer on the ground in the direct sun. Make sure no one disturbs it.
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • Check the temperature.
  • Write it down.

Check the temperature in the shade.

  • Find a shady spot.
  • Put the thermometer on the ground. Make sure it isn’t in the direct sunlight.
  • Wait 5 minutes.
  • Check the temperature again.
  • Write it down.
What did you find out?
  1. What was the difference in temperature between the sunny place and the shady place? You can find the difference by taking the sunny spot temperature minus the shady spot temperature.
  1. Why do you think it is hotter in the sun than in the shade?
Think About It.
Many people think we should plant more trees and grass in our cities to help us stay cooler. Does grass make a difference in temperature? Repeat this same experiment, but this time check the temperature in the sun on cement and on grass. Is there a difference? Try comparing the temperature in the shade on cement with the temperature on grass in the shade. Write a letter to your school newspaper or city planning commission about your results.

Download the plug-ins: Get Adobe Acrobat Reader, and Get Quicktime Player. (The QuickTime plug-in is needed to play sounds and movies correctly.)

Want to share photos of you or your friends doing this activity? Send it in an e-mail with the following information:

  1. The title of the activity
  2. The URL (Internet address)
  3. Your name.

Remember that no pictures can be used that show student faces or student names on it. 

Teachers should view the Teacher Site Map to relate Sci-ber text and the USOE 3rd grade science core.

Updated October 24, 2008 by: Glen Westbroek

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