Solar eclipse viewer design challenge (Grade 6)

Grade: Six

Topic: Understanding Earth and space systems, space

Design Challenge:

Students will research, design, and build (using the materials and tools provided) a safe solar eclipse viewer. The viewer must allow the user to see what happens during a solar eclipse, while facing in the opposite direction of the sun. Students will record their results, make modifications and re-test (if time permits), and complete a report on the steps they took to solve the design challenge.

OCTE 2012 – Elementary Conference Workshops

Solar eclipse viewer


  • CSA approved safety glasses/goggles, one pair per person (parent volunteers included);
  • a first aid kit (please see your Board's Health and Safety Regulations if one is being purchased for your classroom);
  • scissors, one pair for every project (students may supply their own);
  • a ruler, one per project;
  • a sewing needle and push pin to chose from, for creating the pinhole (one for every 6 projects); students who do not complete thorough research, and use the push pin, may find that the hole is too large to work properly.


  • two sheets of white card stock per project; cutting up a cereal box will work just as well, if white paper is glued onto the viewing sheet;
  • 16" (40 cm) of masking tape per project,
  • one 3" x 3" square of tinfoil (7cm x 7cm) per project,
  • one flashlight and one ball (smaller sized such as a ping-pong ball or a tennis ball for every 6 projects