Faith, Family and Home Learning

a solar eclipse and pinhole viewing box project ~ Apologia Astronomy


The kids and I are moving right along with the Exploring Creation with Astronomy from Apologia.  We have made it to the end of the 2nd chapter about the sun.

The first thing we did, was create a solar eclipse using our globe, a small ball attached to a string and a flashlight.  By putting the ball between the light source and the globe, we were able to cast a shadow, showing the kids how a solar eclipse works.

showing the kids how a solar eclipse works.

We then moved on to making a pinhole viewing box.  I gathered the supplies that we needed.  One of the things I really like about Apologia and their projects,  it is stuff you can find laying around your home.  For this project, I had everything on hand.

supplies for the projects

Sarah started out cutting a hole in the side of the box.  This was to view the sun when we finished the project.  However, you could have cut the side of this box off.

Sarah making a hole in the side of the box.

Samuel had the job of cutting a piece of aluminum foil and white paper to go on the end of each box.

Samuel cutting the aluminum foil and paper.

Claire helped Sarah tape the aluminum foil over a hole on one end of the box.  She then helped tape the white piece of paper on the opposite end.

Claire getting a needle.

Sarah helped Claire poke a hole in the aluminum foil.  We found out the bigger the hole the needle made the bigger and fuzzier the sun showed on the white paper.  The smaller the hole, the clearer the picture of the sun.

Sarah helping Claire poke a hole with the needle.

The kids and I had a great time looking at the sun through the pinhole viewing box.  It worked really well.  We were hoping to be able to see some sun spots on the sun, but we didn’t notice any dark spots at all.

seeing the sun through the pinhole.

Trixie even came out on the porch and wanted to look in the box!

Trixie wanted to see the sun in the pinhole in the box!

While we were sad to end the chapter on the sun, we are looking forward to the next chapter about Mercury.  We can’t wait until the next project!

Linking up with:

Science Sunday


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  1. November 14, 2012    

    Yay! We just started our Apologia Astronomy today. Rylan is super excited! (Now Jessica and I need to get excited too! – You are helping with that!)

    • Joy Joy
      November 14, 2012    

      You all will enjoy Astronomy. I am taking it slow with the younger kids and just doing a section or page at a time. So far. so good! We are enjoying the projects. I can’t wait to see you and the kids do the projects! 🙂

      • November 15, 2012    

        I was just reading ahead to the chapter on the sun to see what we would need and was so confused with the pinhole box. Thankfully I had your blog to help me! 🙂 The picture of the girls looking in the box cleared up my confusion! THANKS!

        • Joy Joy
          November 15, 2012    

          I am glad the post was able to help you out! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what your pinhole viewing box looks like!! 🙂

  2. November 14, 2012    

    I’ve always wondered how those worked. I guess when we get to astronomy I’ll have some fun projects to do 🙂

    • Joy Joy
      November 14, 2012    

      We really are enjoying the projects. Kids keep asking what the next project is, they are loving science so much. I think you will enjoy Astronomy when you get to it! 🙂

      • November 17, 2012    

        I’m sure I will. I’m trying to decide if we’ll hurry through it and do botany the same year or take our time. I guess it’ll depend on the kids’ interest level. But I’ve heard astronomy is pretty high interest book.

        • Joy Joy
          November 17, 2012    

          Astronomy is definitely a high interest book. My kids choose to do astronomy and I am surprised by how much they are learning and enjoying it. They have actually gotten me excited about Astronomy! 🙂

  3. November 16, 2012    

    That looks like so much fun! I really like Apologia.

    • Joy Joy
      November 17, 2012    

      As you can tell, we love Apologia! While I am loving the Astronomy book, I can’t wait until we start with the Zoology books!

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