top of page
  • Young Climate Warriors

What can you do in 8.3 minutes?

Updated: Mar 15

What can you do in 8.3 minutes? Walk to school? Gobble down your supper? Get dressed into your uniform?  Read a chapter of a book? Or if you were a snail on an adventure you might even move 50cm!


Any idea how long it takes for the sun’s light to reach Earth? 8.3minutes! Our ‘giant ball of hydrogen’ is so far away … and yet it is keeping our planet warm - not too hot, and not too cold, and providing light for us to see, and for plants to photosynthesize – perfect for life on Planet Earth.  


Let’s think for a moment about ‘electric lights’.  Can you imagine not having any?  Would you go to bed when the sun sets; would you be able to get dressed in the morning – in the dark - before the sun has risen; would you read or do your homework by candlelight? Lights are fundamental to our way of living today but the electricity they use, normally from burning fossil fuels, is causing our climate to change, upsetting the perfect balance of life on earth.


Your challenge this week is to become the family ‘light zapper’ and make sure ALL lights are switched off when they’re not needed! Do you even need to switch on the lights in the morning before school – it depends what time you get up but try opening your curtains straight away and you might be surprised by how bright the sunlight is! Which lights get left on unnecessarily - the bathroom light or the living room light?


Our ‘giant ball of hydrogen’ is also playing an amazing role in helping us to combat climate change – what ideas have you heard of?  Some of that solar energy that reaches Earth, after travelling for 8.3 minutes, can be harnessed – here are a few examples of amazing projects: 14 year old Vinisha Umashankar has invented a ‘solar-powered ironing cart’; a street in North London is creating a ‘local power station’ with the roofs of their houses; a SolarAid project – helping to bring energy to all by 2030; and Thailand is home to the world’s largest floating solar farm.


It's British Science Week, and the theme is TIME… if you’re wondering about climate change over time you might like to check out the ‘Warming stripes’ – a striking way of showing how Earth’s temperature has changed since the Industrial revolution.

When you’ve enjoyed thinking about the potential for solar projects, and embraced the role of family light zapper then HIT THE RED BUTTON!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page