A Solar Pinhole Viewing Box, used to safely view the Sun during a Solar Eclipse or Eclipse of the Sun, can also be used to determine the diameter of the Sun. This is one of several simple science experiments that young people can do themselves, at home! Internet links to instructions for this experiment, and more simple science experiments, can be found in a list of science projects near the end of this blog-post.
(Graphic Source: Eric G. Canali, former Floor Operations Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club.)
By Glenn A. Walsh
Reporting for SpaceWatchtower
Officially, Summer does not begin until the moment of the Summer Solstice: Thursday Morning, 2018 June 21 at 6:07 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time (EDT) / 10:07 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). However, most school children and teenagers are about to begin, what is known as, “Summer Vacation.”
How can parents, grandparents, and legal guardians keep young people engaged in learning during the warm weather months, particularly students who may have an interest and aptitude in the sciences?
Most public libraries have free-of-charge Summer reading programs to encourage reading throughout the Summer. Often, public libraries have Summer reading program kick-off events, which include several children's activities, in June of each year.
In the case of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, their “Summer Reading Extravaganza” will be this Sunday, June 10 from 12:00 Noon to 5:00 p.m. EDT at the Main Library in the Oakland section of the city. For Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's West End Branch, their Summer reading program kick-off event will be the following Saturday, June 16 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT. Also, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh provides “STEM: Super Science” programs at several branch libraries, supported in part by the PPG Foundation.
Some schools, colleges, science centers / science museums, natural history museums, and even some public libraries offer science classes during the Summer months, sometimes referred to as “Summer Camps.” At Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science, Summer classes were known as the “Summer Science Academy.”
But, how can young students directly participate in some simple science experiments?
One way may be to visit a science center / science museum, which sometimes allows the public to help conduct science experiments. Several days of the week (particularly on Sundays), people could participate in science experiments in the Discovery Lab of Pittsburgh's Buhl Science Center (a.k.a. original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science).
But, there are several simple science experiments children and teenagers can perform themselves, right at home!
Here are Internet links to some Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Science Experiments recommended by Children's Services of the West End Branch of The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (the West End Branch, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, is noted for originating the Library Children's Story-Hour in 1899) ---
Link >>> http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/AtHomeAstronomy/activity_06.html
Meteors and Craters:
Link >>> http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/AtHomeAstronomy/activity_05.html
Finding the Size of the Sun and Moon:
Link 1 >>> http://cse.ssl.berkeley.edu/AtHomeAstronomy/activity_03.html
Link 2 >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ/soleclipse/solarviewboxgraphic.gif
(Link 2 Graphic Source: Eric G. Canali, former Floor Operations Manager of Pittsburgh's original Buhl Planetarium and Institute of Popular Science and Founder of the South Hills Backyard Astronomers amateur astronomy club.)
Link 3 >>> http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/FAQ/soleclipse/solareclipseviewingtips.html
Solar Cooker: Link >>> https://climatekids.nasa.gov/smores/
Make Your Own Sundial:
Link >>> https://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2005/images/Sun_Dial_pdf.pdf
Projects for Younger Children ---
Building 3-D Constellations with Marshmallows:
Link >>> https://www.kcedventures.com/blog/astronomy-activities-for-kids-books-about-the-stars
Link >>> https://www.handmadecharlotte.com/diy-constellation-flashlight-discs/
Constellation Cards and Myths:
Link >>> https://www.howweelearn.com/constellation-myths-kids/
More Science Experiments from Steve Spangler Science - Click on the following Internet links ---
Lists of free-of-charge Science Experiments (Click on a particular Science category in drop-down menu):
Link >>> https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/
Free-of-charge, 44-page (.pdf file), Summer Science Outdoor Activity Guide:
Link >>> https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/summer-science-fun/
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Book Lists compiled by The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh ---
Link >>> https://www.carnegielibrary.org/stem-booklists/
Special Thanks: Beth Zovko, Children's Services, and Maria Joseph, Library Services Manager, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, West End Branch.
Source: Glenn A. Walsh Reporting for SpaceWatchtower, a project of Friends of the Zeiss.
2018 June 5.
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Glenn A. Walsh --- < http://buhlplanetarium2.tripod.com/weblog/spacewatchtower/gaw/ >
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Project Director, Friends of the Zeiss: < http://buhlplanetarium.tripod.com/fotz/ >
SpaceWatchtower Editor / Author: < http://spacewatchtower.blogspot.com/ >
Formerly Astronomical Observatory Coordinator & Planetarium Lecturer, original Buhl Planetarium & Institute of Popular Science, Pittsburgh's science & technology museum from 1939 to 1991.
Author of History Web Sites on the Internet --
* Buhl Planetarium, Pittsburgh:
* Adler Planetarium, Chicago:
* Astronomer, Educator, Optician John A. Brashear:
< http://johnbrashear.tripod.com >
* Andrew Carnegie & Carnegie Libraries: