Seasonal Change
Earth and Space

Seasons: thermochromic globe

Practical Activity for 11-14 IOP RESOURCES

Use a lamp, world globe and a strip of self-adhesive thermochromic plastic to show why the the surface temperate of the Earth varies according to the angle of the sunlight reaching it.

Apparatus and Materials

  • World globe
  • Lamp
  • Self adhesive thermochromic plastic


  • Cut the self-adhesive thermochromic plastic into a strip. Place it vertically on the globe next to the country that is of interest.
  • Place the lamp at a distance from the globe that results in the thermochromic plastic strip shows a range of colours.
  • Explian that thermochromic shows temperature variation using a range of colours. Brown indicates the lowest tenperature and blue indicates high temperature.
  • If the plastic changes colour and then go black again
  • the globe is too close. If the plastic doesnt change colour at all the globe is too close).

Teaching Notes

The demonstration shows that when sunlight hits the surface of the Earth at different angles, the energy transferred to the Earth is spread out over different areas. Where the angle would place the Sun low down on the horizon, the energy is spread over a larger area and so the Earth does not warm up as much as in summer.

To show that daytime lasts longer is summer you can attach a dome to the globe.

Seasonal Change
can be explained by the Heliocentric Model of the Solar System
can be exhibited by Planet
Limit Less Campaign

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