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Students in small groups conduct an investigation into the similarities and differences between solar tea and tea brewed by boiling water. Students will compare their two samples on four criteria—color, clarity, smell and taste—rate which they prefer, and graph the results of the experiment as a class.



Plan Time

15 minutes for discussion and preparation; 1-3 hours to brew solar tea; one half hour to taste test and discuss.


Large jars, approximately one liter each (two per group), tea bags (two per group), water, pan, stove or method to boil water, clear glasses (four per student), sugar packets, spoons.


National Standards: K-4

  • PRI-A: 1.b. Plan and conduct a simple investigation.
  • PRI-A: 1.c. Employ simple equipment and tools to gather data and extend the senses.
  • PRI-A: 2.a. Scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer with what scientists already know.
  • PRI-A: 2,b. Scientists use different kinds of investigations, which include describing objects, events, and organisms; classifying them; and doing a fair test (experimenting).
  • PRI-A: 2.d. Scientists develop explanations using observations (evidence) and what they already know (scientific knowledge). Good explanations are based on investigations.

Florida Solar Energy Center

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