Lesson 4: Heat and the Sun

Getting Started

Today you will explore heat as a form of energy and will examine the role the Sun plays as a light and heat source. You will also learn the laws that govern energy.

Stuff You Need

  • ScienceWiz Energy box
  • 3 glasses or cups
  • black marker
  • double-sided tape
  • note cards (kit)
  • tea candle (kit)

Ideas to Think About

  • What is the unique relationship between the Sun and living things?
  • What is the role of the Sun in different types of energy?

Things to Know

  • Thermodynamics means moving heat.
  • The first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be changed.
  • The second law of thermodynamics states that energy always moves from hot things to cold things.
  • The third law of thermodynamics states that nothing can be colder than absolute zero (-276.16 degrees C / - 459.67 degrees F).
  • The Sun's energy can be used to do work and to heat our homes.


  • Recognize that energy comes from the Sun to the Earth in the form of light. (S)
  • Identify sources of stored energy, such as food, fuel, and batteries. (S)
  • Understand that heat is transferred from hot things to cool things. (S)

Introducing the Lesson

Explain to your child that today she will explore the Sun's role as a source of energy. The activities for Day 2 require a sunny day. If you don't have the proper weather conditions, move on to the next lesson and complete this lesson on your next sunny day.