This isn’t a normal summer, but summery fun awaits nonetheless; you just have to get a little more creative. Our suggestions for the week ahead range from a sizzling pizza-box project to a chilly new kind of art.
Bake with the sun’s help
Solar ovens are easy to make out of pizza boxes, fun to take camping — and even the simplest ones actually work. Find directions from Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry at https://bit.ly/solar-cook, and try making s’mores or heating up a slice of pizza. Be careful, because the oven really does get hot on a sunny day. Pro tip: Instead of plastic wrap, try a plastic magnifying sheet, sometimes labeled a Fresnel lens.
Journey through an exploded star
A free Smithsonian interactive experience pulls data from telescopes to place you at the center of an exploded star, where you can steer around and customize your view. The 360-degree narrated tour at https://bit.ly/supernova-tour explains what’s happening in the supernova — and what it reveals about the world around you.
Go to a fair in a faraway land
Among the many things we miss this summer: street fairs. But you can get your fair fix and peer into different cultures with a Google Earth tour of some of the planet’s biggest, most brilliant festivals and carnivals, from Spain’s giant food fight to India’s color-throwing Holi celebration. It’s at https://bit.ly/streetfairs.
Make a soap-powered boat
File this under “surprising science”: A well-placed dab of dish detergent will send a little boat skimming across the water. You can start with a basic bread tie for the boat, then get as elaborate as you’d like. Directions, courtesy of Planet Science, are at https://bit.ly/soapboats.
Chill out with a cool chalk project
Meet the chalk paintsicle, a frozen concoction of basic kitchen ingredients that melts into vibrant art on your sidewalk. The Orlando Science Center explains how to do this at https://www.osc.org/ice-chalk-recipe/.