Cost Effective Solar Cells: Copper Oxide Cell Data Sharing

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Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will share and analyze oxidized copper sheet solar cell data
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Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
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This lesson is designed to be completed in one 40-minute section. The teacher will facilitate the sharing of student solar cell data from indoor and outdoor testing through a gallery walk session. Variables such as lighting, photovoltaic effect, copper properties, salt water, and circuits should be discussed. Teachers will guide students in making connections to solar cell power generation limits, basic circuitry, and batteries. Teachers should understand the differences between a renewable solar cell and the copper sheet experiment, which is photo-reactive but more similar to a battery than a solar panel. Teachers should facilitate discussion leading toward the most efficient copper solar cells based on environmental conditions. Understanding of the optimal conditions and the roles of each component of the solar cell are emphasized.