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June 20, 2014
Photovoltaics and Solar Energy (2 Activities)

This module addresses issues dealing with the energy from the sun, the energy needs of students in the classroom and, ultimately, our energy needs as a nation. Students will use a photovoltaic (PV) cell to measure the energy from the sun. Using a light bulb with a known wattage, the students will illuminate the bulb using a PV cell. This way the students will know the approximate energy coming from the PV cell.

June 20, 2014
Utilizing Photovoltaic Cells and Systems (9 Activities)

These nine projects allow students to set up their own investigations and manipulate the variables that influence photovoltaic cells. The projects can be easily integrated into a normal science classroom curriculum, or can be completed by students individually for science fair projects. All of the projects will fit easily into classroom lessons surrounding scientific inquiry and the scientific method. They will also help illustrate concepts in electricity, light and color, velocity and gravity, chemistry and polarity, and could even lead to social studies or social action projects.

June 19, 2014
Making a Solar Oven

Students make solar ovens. Student background information is provided. The expected outcome is that students will learn about solar energy transfer.

June 19, 2014
Material and Chemical Processing (Concentrated Solar) (4 Activities)

Concentrated sunlight is a versatile and high-quality form of energy with several potential applications besides producing heat and electricity. Today, scientists are developing systems that use concentrated sunlight to detoxify hazardous wastes, to drive chemical reactions, and to treat materials for increased hardness and resistance to corrosion.

June 19, 2014
Modeling the Process of Mining Silicon Through a Single Displacement/Redox Reaction

As the popularity of photovoltaic (PV) cells and integrated circuits (IC) increases, the need for silicon also increases. Silicon is one of the most used materials in these two industries. It is an inexpensive and abundant semiconductor. However, the process of producing pure silicon adds cost, and it is generally unknown to the public. One of the first steps in producing silicon is a process called carbon-thermic reduction. Silicon dioxide (SiO2) that is found in beach sand and quartz is melted down in a caldron at a temperature of 1450 degrees Celsius.

June 19, 2014
Electrolysis of Water

Students observe the electrolysis of water using either photovoltaics or a battery as the electric energy source.

June 19, 2014
Solar Cell Simulation

Students model the flow of energy from the sun as it enters a photovoltaic cell, moves along a wire and powers a load. The game-like atmosphere involves the younger students and helps them understand the continuous nature of the flow of energy. For a related lesson, please see the activity “Solar Powered System” (PDF 430 KB).

June 19, 2014
The Planet Janitor© Coloring Book

This is a coloring book with text in English and Spanish. It focuses on the environmental aspects of energy production and use but also has pictures on solar energy.

May 5, 2014
<a  href="">Register by May 9</a> to attend the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit, May 19-22, 2014.
Top 5 Reasons to Attend the SunShot Grand Challenge Solar Summit

Anticipation for the SunShot Grand Challenge Summit is heating up. Register now for the event, which is taking place May 19 to May 22 in Anaheim, California.