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September 02, 2021

Harness the Power of the Sun! Experiment with FPL SolarNow

FPL SolarNow

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What is solar energy? Put simply, it is the transformation of heat from the sun into thermal or electrical energy. It’s not only renewable, but sustainable — and that means we’ll never run out of it.

When it comes to educating children about the importance of solar energy, this can be a complex topic to grasp. With a few simple activities, you can help your kids understand and have some fun at the same time.

FPL has long been committed to supporting STEM initiatives that prepare students for the future, especially because there are so many stimulating job opportunities in the field (including the fast-growing solar industry). By transforming 70+ zoos, parks and museums into outdoor living classrooms with solar array installations, FPL SolarNow is dedicated to educating future generations about solar energy.

Let’s Experiment!

There are so many ways to see solar energy in action, and there’s no better way to learn than by testing it out yourself. Try one of these simple DIY experiments that teaches you and your family about the power of the sun!

It’s time to explore colors with ice! On a sunny day, you can discover how colors affect the melting rates of ice cubes. All you need is different colored square pieces of paper and ice cubes. Then, place each ice cube on a different color of construction paper and watch them melt. Watch the next video and give it a try to find out which one melts the fastest.

Did you know you can use solar energy to cook your food? By creating a solar oven, like the one in the next video, you can roast delicious s’mores without a campfire. You will need to conduct this experiment on a warm, sunny day above 85 degrees – fortunately, that’s most days here in the Sunshine State.

With a few household items and a little critical thinking, you’ll learn which type of matter – gas, liquid or solid – collects more solar energy. Put on your solar scientist hat and watch the next video for an easy-to-do experiment for the whole family.


Sun-Powered Speed

At the IMAG History & Science Center, learning occurs year-round. Right before the start of the 2021-2022 school year, the final group of summer campers at IMAG received a supercharged lesson from FPL on solar power. Using the two FPL SolarNow trees and solar canopy located at IMAG as inspiration, campers built their very own Solar Rover cars and engaged in friendly competition, racing the cars next to the solar installations.

The solar installations have been at IMAG since 2019 and provide an opportunity for the Fort Myers community to see solar energy up close. The canopy and trees offer much-needed shade for various education programs, while also generating zero-emissions power that flows back into FPL’s grid. Visit a location near you today to see these innovative solar structures up close.

If you enjoyed these experiments, FPL’s online Energy Curriculum offers even more hands-on experiments, labs and activities for students and teachers to explore step-by-step lessons to foster knowledge and critical thinking skills. Be sure to check it out for more ways to see solar energy in action!