Summer Science Fun

Summer is a terrific time to explore the science wonders of your own backyard. Here are some ideas to get you started. 

On a sunny day, use chalk to trace an object's shadow at 3 or 4 different times throughout the day. Has the shadow changed? Why?

Plant a few sunflower seeds in a sunny corner. Grow a sunflower jungle!

Keep a science journal of your observations of the plants and animals in your yard. Sketch what you see. Note the date and time. Write down questions you have; they are important too. Come up with ideas for how to get answers.

How many different kinds of birds can you see in one day? In one week? All summer? 

How many different kinds of insects can you find?

Watch for fireflies or lightning bugs in the evening. What do they eat? Why do they flash? 

Do bark rubbings of different trees. Use a light-weight paper and a crayon with the paper removed. Can your friends find trees to match the rubbings?

Can you fold paper into a cup that will hold water?

Which gets hottest in summer sun - blacktop, cement or grass? Why?

Look for shooting stars in the summer evening sky. How many can you see? (Visit Basics of Meteor Watching.)

Give your friends white paper plates and crayons. Have them color the plate with a camouflage pattern and then hide it in plain sight. Try to find everyone's plate (Hint: It will work better if you find your hiding place first and then do the camouflage).
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