Bright idea: Science Friday’s Sun Camp!

Science Friday Sun Camp

Celebrate all things solar with Sun Camp! Designed for learners ages 5-9 (and the people who love them), Sun Camp will feature five weeks of great conversations with sun scientists and hands-on activities to try on your own.


The days are getting shorter, but we have a great way to bring more sun into your life. Join us this fall for a great idea: Sun Camp! The center of our solar system and our closest star, the Sun is much more than just a lamp in the sky. It is a dynamic system that is constantly changing. These changes affect us here on Earth in many ways, some obvious and some mysterious. But understanding the sun and how it works may be the key to discovering new living worlds in our universe.

Top 5 reasons to join Science Friday’s Sun Camp:

  1. All American children ages 5-9, their families, caregivers and siblings are welcome to join us Free.
  2. Online questions and answers every Wednesday with real scientists and experts. Bring your questions!
  3. Weekly hands-on activities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields that make the science of the sun on Earth.
  4. Detailed help guides, additional resources, how-to activities, and more. Experience is not necessary!
  5. After-school programs, libraries, and other community organizations are welcome to join in the solar-powered fun.

Want to know more? Keep scrolling!

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The sun emits a CME solstice
This image from June 20, 2013 at 11:15 p.m. EDT shows the bright light of a solar flare on the left side of the Sun and an eruption of solar material seeping through the Sun’s atmosphere, called a prominent eruption. credit: NASA

The Sun 101 – Wednesday, October 19, 2022

  • What are the properties of the sun and how do they affect its function?
  • Find out what the sun is, how it makes energy, how it changes over time, and what the solar cycle is.
  • Create a circular model of the sun using shaving cream and food colouring.

Solar System – Wednesday, October 26, 2022

  • How does the sun affect the planets of our solar system?
  • Learn about the complex ways in which the Sun, Moon, and planets interact with each other.
  • Test the forces of gravity and gravity using plastic eggs, balls, and paper plates.

Sun and Earth – Wednesday, November 2, 2022

  • Why is the sun important to the earth?
  • Discover the many ways sunlight affects life on Earth.
  • Make shadow traces and examine the effects of ultraviolet light.

Solar Weather – Wednesday 9 November 2022

  • How do the cycles of the sun affect the Earth?
  • Dive into space weather and the aurora borealis.
  • Study the strength of magnetic forces and test their limits.

Beyond the Sun – Wednesday 16 November 2022

  • How can our understanding of the Sun help us learn more about stars, solar systems, and other planets?
  • Look beyond our solar system to the distant stars and planets that orbit them.
  • Build your own mini space probe out of recycled materials.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Sun Camp

The only active area in the profile
The Sun’s rotation has shown a new active region to be seen, revealing the dynamic arcs and torsion currents of its magnetic field (October 10-11, 2018). credit: NASA

For whom is this?

All US children and sun-loving caregivers are welcome to join us as we build, experiment, and investigate activities that bring the science of the sun to Earth. Not an expert in solar physics? Not a problem! We will have weekly newsletters, step-by-step project guides, short educational videos, Q&A sessions with real NASA scientists, expansive activities, and many more tips to help young people feel successful and engaged.

Do you have a group? amazing! Clubs, Scouts, after-school programs, libraries, museums, home cooperatives, and other community organizations are welcome to join in the solar-powered fun.

What do I expect from Sun Camp?

Sun’s Science Friday camp will begin on Wednesday, October 19 and run through November 16. After registering, you will receive a weekly email newsletter containing everything you need to know to participate in Sun Camp. You will also be invited to a private online session every Wednesday at 4 PM PT / 7 PM ET. During this virtual gathering, we will dive into an important topic in solar energy science with a guest expert from NASA who will answer questions from our emerging scientists. You’ll also have access to a new hands-on science or engineering activity each week to complete on your own, using the instructions and resources provided by the Science Friday team of teachers. When you complete the projects, you can share your work with us and we will display it online. When Sun Camp ends, there will be a brief survey about your experience.

Aurora Effect
Illustration of a cloud of CME particles that exploded from the Sun to impact Earth and form the aurora borealis (in the actual image of the aurora borealis as taken by an astronaut on the space station). Credit: NASA/GSFC/SOHO/ESA

How much does it cost?

Sun Camp is completely free. Most activity materials are easy to find around the house or at your local hardware store. We also provide a file Limited number of free kits For groups and families that meet our criteria.

How do I participate?

Simply fill out a short form to register for Sun Camp. And be sure to check out sciencefriday.com/suncamp Regularly for updates and to check out the creations of your peers exploring solar science.

Why the sun?

Well, the sun is very important to life on Earth, to the functioning of our solar system, the future of space exploration and alternative energy, so we want everyone to have the opportunity to learn more about our nearest star. We’ve partnered with the NASA Heliophysics Education Team (NASA HEAT). NASA HEAT connects audiences across the country with the innovative and fascinating science of heliophysics – the physics of the sun and its connection to the solar system. Together, Science Friday and NASA HEAT launch learners of all ages on a path toward scientific discovery.

What if I have more questions?

Please send an email to education@sciencefriday.com with the subject line “SciFri Sun Camp”. For updates on registration, we suggest you sign up for the Science Friday Educate newsletter, join the STEM Educator’s Lounge on Facebook, and follow Science Friday on Twitter.

Sun Camp . button
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Meet the writer

Sandy Roberts

About Sandy Roberts

Sandy Roberts is the Education Program Director at Science Friday, where she creates educational resources and experiences to advance STEM equity in all learning environments. Lately, she’s been playing with origami circles and trying to perfect a gluten-free recipe.

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