Eeek! I am so excited about this little activity I dreamed up for our astronomy club! We are discovering the Sun, making handheld spectroscopes (think glittery rainbows everywhere) and checking out electrocuted gas (because what is better than sending 110 volts through a little skinny glass tube?!?)!
I ran this program with all of our island 5th graders and had a ball, but there was one thing missing – really discovering the Sun’s composition through spectra. They looked at the gasses through their tubes and saw the pretty lines but weren’t able to make the connection about which gasses are in the Sun based on spectra.
Overhead transparencies to save the day! I printed a ton of different elemental spectra on transparency sheets, making see through cards. Families will put them on top of sample solar spectra (I made easy, medium and hard) and discover the most common elements in the sun the same way NASA scientists have done!!