The Lawrence Hall of Science
The public science center of the University of California, Berkeley.
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Contact:Newsroom510-642-2226March 24, 2014—Berkeley, CA: From tasting solar s’mores to tracking solar storms, a new, free DIY app lets you explore Earth’s own star by harnessing the power of the Sun itself. DIY Sun Science for the iPad and iPhone lets anyone, anywhere investigate the Sun with easy, fun, affordable, safe and tasty hands-on activities. The new app from UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science shows you how to cook melty treats with a solar oven, detect solar storms, and discover how dynamic the Sun is and how it affects life on Earth. At the time of its release, DIY Sun Science was featured by Apple as one of the Best New Apps on the front page of the App Store, and was tweeted by the official App Store Twitter account to its almost 2.5 million followers.“The Sun is constantly changing,” says the Lawrence Hall of Science’s Chris Keller, who managed the development team for the app funded by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “Some solar events can damage the technology we desperately depend on. That makes understanding our Sun and being able to predict these destructive solar events more critical than ever.”The DIY Sun Science app will be featured at NASA’s education booth at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference, which is being held April 2–6 in Boston.On sunny days, and even not so sunny days, the app lets you learn about the Sun at home, school, after school, community events, or anywhere you go, with step-by-step instructions and detailed explanations. Among the app’s many science explorations, you can make a prism to separate “white” sunlight into a rainbow, and design a UV detector to see how the Sun’s ultraviolet light can make things glow. You can also measure the Sun’s size from Earth, make an edible model of the Sun’s surface, find sunspots, and discover how solar gases rise, cool and sink like air does in Earth’s atmosphere.DIY Sun Science includes live images and videos from NASA space missions, such as the Solar Dynamics Observatory, which are gathering and analyzing all kinds of solar data. Observatories both on Earth and in space are giving us the clearest pictures ever of how the Sun behaves and what impact it has on us. The mobile app was created in partnership with the educators and scientists at UC Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory.DIY Sun Science is the second DIY app from the Lawrence Hall of Science, following DIY Nano, which lets anyone investigate how nanotechnology can affect our future, with topics ranging from inventions of medicine to how gravity affects tiny objects.For more information visit the DIY Sun Science webpage.Download DIY Sun Science from the App Store.