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5th Graders Conduct Solar Lab


Middle School 5th graders in Mrs. Jennifer Hartle’s and Ms. Katie Jo Stobert’s science classes recently conducted a lab to determine which color is best at capturing solar energy.


Students investigated how color affects the amount of solar energy an object absorbs. They took an initial temperature of a water sample and hypothesized the outcome they would expect if each water sample was in a bottle of a different color and left in the sun for the day.


Each student wrapped a water bottle in a different color, left the bottle in the sun, and recorded a final temperature reading. Students devised a way to graph and analyze the data to determine if some colors absorb more solar energy than others, and used the data to either prove or disprove their original hypothesis. The data was used to connect to the fact that solar panels are black and how solar energy is changed to electrical energy.