Use the power of the Sun to energize STEM learning with the free, new DIY Sun Science app for the iPad and iPhone. On sunny days, or not so sunny days, DIY Sun Science makes investigating Earth's own star easy, fun, affordable and safe. Thirteen hands-on explorations, plus NASA images and videos, reveal how dynamic the Sun is and how it affects life on Earth. The DIY Sun Science app works for learning at home, school, after school, community events, or anywhere.
"Nearly all life on Earth depends on the Sun. The Sun's energy is critical to human existence, from food we eat to energy we use to power our societies and economies," says Chris Keller, who led the app's development.
Developed at UC Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, DIY Sun Science lets learners explore solar energy by making a prism to separate "white" sunlight into a rainbow, designing a UV detector to see how the Sun's ultraviolet light can make things glow, and cooking s'mores in a solar oven.
Learners of all ages can also measure the Sun's size from Earth, make an edible model of the Sun's surface, discover how solar gases rise, cool and sink like air does in Earth's atmosphere, and detect solar storms that change Earth’s magnetic field.
"The Sun is constantly changing," Keller notes. "Some solar events can damage the technology we desperately depend on. That makes understanding our Sun, and being able to predict these destructive solar events, more critical than ever."
Observatories both on Earth and in space are giving us the clearest pictures ever of how the Sun behaves and what impact it has on us. Funded by NASA, the DIY Sun Science app includes live images and videos from NASA space missions, such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which are gathering and analyzing all kinds of solar data.
Expand the learning and fun with more than 170 Sun science activities at Howtosmile.org.