LittleMan recently spent a week of nature study learning about the sky, and what with the temperature getting hotter by the day, I thought it was the perfect time for him to examine the sun as a source of heat and energy. What I really wanted to do was the classic fry an egg on the sidewalk experiment but I knew it wasn’t hot enough for that (only in the 90s here, it would take hours to fry an egg that way). So I instead came up with this alternative, which happens to illustrate the greenhouse effect.
Now the greenhouse effect is a process by which thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases, and is re-radiated in all directions. (cite) We see the greenhouse effect on a smaller scale anytime we look at how a greenhouse plant nursery or a solar oven work. We also see the greenhouse effect take place in the way that cars are hotter on the inside than the temperature is outside.
For this experiment, we used two shiny metal baking trays, two eggs, a stationary car with the windows rolled up, and the sun.
LittleMan has been helping in the kitchen for years and has long ago mastered cracking an egg without breaking the yolk, but everyone has an accident sometimes. Just so happens that his accident effected our experiment results.
You see, the egg in the car should have cooked faster BUT because the yolk was intact on that egg, it was thicker and took longer to cook. The egg on the patio had a burst yolk so it was spread more thin across a wider area of hot metal so it cooked slightly faster than the egg in the car.
Be sure to check out what my fellow Saturday Science co-hosts are up to this week!
10 Summer Science Activities – that rock! from P is for Preschooler
25 Must Follow Pinterest Boards for Science Activities from Lemon Lime Adventures
Fireworks in a Jar from The Joys of Boys
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