Saturday Science: Greenhouse Effect

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.
Saturday Science Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler (1)
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.

We cracked an egg into the first baking tray and placed it in the sunny back window of a car.
Saturday Science Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler (2)
We cracked another egg into the second baking tray and placed it on the patio in the sun.
Saturday Science Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler (3)

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.

The egg on the patio was fully cooked in about an hour.
Saturday Science Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler (4)

The egg in the car was fully cooked in about 90 minutes.
Saturday Science Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler (5)
The egg in the car was severely over-cooked by the end of the day.
Saturday Science Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler (6)

 

 

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

 

Follow our science Pinterest board for more hands-on experiments!Follow Science Experiments for Kids on Pinterest.

 

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4 Comments to Saturday Science: Greenhouse Effect

  1. […] Greenhouse Effect from Suzy Homeschooler […]

  2. Such an interesting experiment! I love the hands-on ways you illustrate science concepts to your kids (easy enough for even me to understand, lol!)

    • suzyhomeschooler says:

      Well, science was never my strong subject in school so I’ve had to make an effort to learn more about it in order to teach it to my children. Hands-on seems like the best way for all of us to learn together.

  3. Jill says:

    This is a great experiment to help kids understand the greenhouse effect and exactly how hot it can get inside a car in the summer!

    Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop this week. We hope to see you drop by our neck of the woods next week!

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