Cost Effective Solar Cells: Solar Panel Basics

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Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will review circuitry basics and solar cell layers
  2. Students will model N-layers, P-layers, and the N-P junction in a physical circuit activity
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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. Students will have already learned the concepts of basic circuits, including voltage, current, power, parallel and serial circuits. Teachers will then explain the basic concept of solar cells, introducing the concepts of N-type doping, P-type doping, and P-N junctions through a short video. Teachers will lead students in a physical model of the P-N junctions and electron flow through an outdoor activity. Teachers will need to be familiar with these physical science concepts on an introductory level only—more detailed lessons will follow as the unit progresses.