Photo of house with snow on ground

Keeping Cool in the Shade

Presented by: Northeast Illinois Chapter – American Institute of Architects

In this activity, participants will learn the basics of solar orientation and how structures can be built to help provide shade from the sun. Participants will design and build structures that provide shade: one with the black construction paper and one with the white construction paper. After the structures have been assembled, participants will place them outside and keep track of how long it will take an ice cube to melt while being underneath their structure. For comparison participants will leave a third "control" ice cube outside of the structure and compare melting times.

Materials List

These are the materials you will need to follow along with this activity.

  • Black construction paper
  • White construction paper
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape
  • Extra scratch paper for planning
  • Ice cubes

Safety Considerations

Make sure you do this activity in an area that’s okay to get wet.

About Northeast Illinois Chapter - American Institute of Architects

AIA - Northeast Illinois

We continue the AIA's mission to champion the essential role of architects and architecture in shaping the communities we live and work in.  The Northeast Illinois Chapter is a community of over 500 architects, associates, students, affiliates and industry professionals in the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago.