Apr. 09, 2015

Can You Explain The Sun?

by Ariel Zych

Click to enlarge images
Science Friday’s Science Club is an invitation to go out, do science, and share it with others. For this science club, we’re mixing up how SciFri normally works. We want you to explain something to us.
Something big.
Really big.
We want you to explain to us what the Sun does.
Here’s how:
  1. Learn something interesting about what the Sun does.
  2. Do your best to explain what you’ve learned about the Sun.
  3. Share your explanation with the hashtag #ExplainTheSun
We will officially launch #ExplainTheSun over the radio on May 8th, 2015. Then, from May 8th through June 5th, we’ll give you Sun activities and Sun stories to get your wheels turning, feature outstanding submissions in a weekly post on, and ask scientists for their explanations of what the Sun does. We’ll feature highlights from the project on our wrap-up on the radio program June 5th 2015.
But you don’t have to wait to get started!
Starting May 8th, you can submit your explanation in one of the following ways:
  • Twitter – Tweet a picture or video @SciFri with #ExplainTheSun
  • Facebook – Post a picture or video of the project to the comments section below using #ExplainTheSun
  • Instagram – Instagram a picture or video using #ExplainTheSun
  • Vine – Post a Vine of your project using #ExplainTheSun
  • Pinterest – Post a picture of your project using #ExplainTheSun
  • YouTube – Upload a video of your project using #ExplainTheSun
  • Email – Send a picture or video to scienceclub[at]
  • Tumblr – Post a picture to SciFri's Tumblr (click the check mark for #ExplainTheSun)
  • Record yourself – click here to submit an audio recording of your explanation of what the Sun does
Science Club FAQ's
I’m a Parent/Scientist/Artist/Student/Cat-Herder/etc … Can I participate?
Short answer: YES!
Everyone is invited, no matter where you are, what you do, or how little you know about the Sun. Learn something cool about what the Sun does, and do your best to explain it in a medium that suits you. Check out for more ideas and to see what others have submitted throughout the month.
What kinds of Sun stuff can I explain?
Short answer: Anything the Sun does, influences, or looks like – pick something!
We know, we know – the Sun is a HUGE topic, and not just because it is 37,000 times the size of our planet. The Sun does all kinds of things. 
So, what does the Sun do? What does it do to other things like planets and oceans and cells? What does it do in order to produce so much energy? What does it do to our minds? How does it affect satellites? How does it change from day to day?
You could explain gravitational pull, skin cancer, plant growth, nuclear fusion, climate change, or something as simple as casting a shadow. The point of this Science Club is that there are multiple answers this question, from virtually every scientific discipline under the…
How can I explain it?
Short answer: any way you want to!
You could draw a picture, do an interpretive dance, take a photo, shoot a video, record yourself explaining something, do an experiment and describe the results, create a computer simulation or website – there are many, MANY ways to explain something, so choose the one that you think does the best job!
I’m a teacher. Can I do this as a class project?
Short answer: Yes!
Yes! Students are amazing explainers; we would love your help sharing their explanations of what the Sun does. You may send us photos, excerpts from class projects, dance performances, observations, lab data, figures from lab reports, or really any other classroom artifact. If you plan to submit anything that includes the face or voice of a student under age 18, however, make sure that you’ve received permission from a parent or guardian (e.g. a general media, photo, or press waiver). If you prefer that students submit their own observations, please guide them in best practices of Internet safety and privacy—for instance, instruct them to avoid including identifying personal information or images in their submissions. We assume that as a participating educator, you and your class are adhering to your school or district’s Internet use policy. Here are four great examples of how to share student work.
How can I submit an audio explanation?
Record your 30-second Sun explanation by clicking the button below. We might play your submission during our live show on June 5th, 2015!
Tips for recording audio submissions:
  • Use a microphone
  • Position the microphone one hand-width away from your mouth while you speak
  • Record your submission in a quiet room with no background noise

What IS Science Club Anyway?

You can learn more about Science Friday's Science Club, and view previous challenges, here.


About Ariel Zych

Ariel is Science Friday's education manager. She is a former teacher and scientist who spends her free time making food, watching arthropods, and being outside. You can follow her @arieloquent

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Science Friday.
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