Solar Week - Celebrate the Sun-Earth Connection!
Written by Morgan Woroner
Do you know your solar flares from your sunspots? How does solar energy actually work? Why is the Sun so important to life on Earth? Learn all about the Sun with Solar Week! This bi-annual celebration (in Spring and Fall) encourages students in grades 5-9 to explore the wonders of our nearest star. This week features daily games and activities, as well as curriculum for educators, to allow students to follow along for a week of solar study!
NASA Wavelength has created a special collection of Solar Week resources in a single, easy-to-access location. Items are sorted in daily order, with all the materials you need for an entire week of solar fun! While educators are encouraged to participate in the entirety of Solar Week, it is not a requirement – these resources can be used piecemeal if necessary, and aren’t limited to use during this specific week. Included in the collection is a direct link to the Solar Week website, where educators can find information on daily topics for celebrating this event, as well as background information on heliophysics, including a glossary of terms and information on NASA missions studying the Sun.
Another unique feature of Solar Week is the emphasis on introducing students to science careers. Students are encouraged to do research on the types of jobs available to those interested in studying the Sun professionally, as well as to learn more about actual solar scientists. There is even a Meet the Scientists page featuring stories on how current scientists started their careers. Students also have the opportunity to use the Solar Week bulletin board – this online forum is a place where students can ask questions of leading solar scientists about not just science, but about what it is like to be a scientist studying our Sun, how they balance their work with personal life, their hobbies and interests, and even what they were like as kids.
Are you planning on participating in Solar Week? Have you participated in this event in the past? Share your stories below!