June 19, 2015

It's Solstice -- Broil Marshmallows in the Sun!

Power to the Parabola!

This weekend brings the longest day of the year.  It's Solstice!  I have visions of my Scandinavian ancestors celebrating the sun with outdoor events, but in my part of the world we are drenched with the remains of a tropical storm.

Nonetheless, with summer’s light and heat upon us, I’d like to share one of my favorite activities from Isaac Newton and Physics for Kids. “Power to the Parabola” explains a concept about the hand-sized reflecting telescope that Newton designed and built. Inside is a small concave mirror that captures light.

To illustrate the concept of how this mirror works, kids can build a small solar oven -- and roast a marshmallow. Sunny days rule!

Drawing of a s'more, a sandwich of a marshmallow and a square of chocolate between two graham crackers.

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