Cost Effective Solar Cells Unit Plan

Grades:
9-12
Description:
Through a series of solar panel and solar cell construction activities, students will learn the basic principles of energy conversion from light energy to chemical & electrical energy. Students will assemble and test pre-constructed solar panels to gain a...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will discuss social, cultural, and economic implications of sustainable solar energy.Students will construct and test solar panel arrays to power LED lights, fan motors, and music playersStudents will review circuitry basics and solar cell layersStudents will analyze and share out power generation results with classmatesStudents will construct and test an oxidized copper sheet solar cellStudents will share and analyze oxidized copper sheet solar cell dataStudents will construct and test titanium dioxide coated “raspberry juice” solar cellsStudents will collect and analyze titanium dioxide coated “raspberry juice” solar cell data.Students will discuss results and draw conclusions about variables that may affect power generationStudents will visit a solar cell or silicon manufacturing facility and/or engage with guest speakers. Students will learn more detailed solar cell principles and manufacturing techniques involved in solar cell constructionStudents will research chemicals, materials and procedures for their own solar cell designsStudents will build and present models of their proposed solar cellsStudents will construct and test unique solar cellsStudents will present construction progress and project obstaclesStudents will format solar cell data, draw conclusions, and construct an engineering report as a research poster
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Solar Energy Equity and Sustainability

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
This lesson is designed to span 2 days with 40-minute sections. On the introduction day, three solar power articles will be read to set up a Socratic Seminar dialogue on Day 2. A teacher will need to read the articles. The articles investigate the pros and...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will read at least three articles discussing solar power generation, and the social, cultural, and economic implications of sustainable solar energyStudents will discuss social, cultural, and economic implications of sustainable solar energy in a Socratic Seminar format.
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Researching Chemicals and Materials for Solar Cell Construction

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
10
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in three 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate student research on solar cell designs centering around the engineering problem: How can we make a cheaper, cleaner or more efficient solar cell? Teachers should...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will research chemicals, materials and procedures for their own solar cell designsStudents will write an introduction to the problem, including criteria, constraints, and solar cell conceptsStudents will research and write a rough materials and procedure for the solar cellStudents will research and describe their solar cell designs.
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Model Sketch and Presentation

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
11
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in two 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate brief class presentations on the unique solar cell models. Teachers will model and encourage students to provide warm and cool feedback to the presenters,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will sketch 2D or 3D models of their proposed solar cellsStudents will present their unique solar cell design ideas and sketches of their solar cells
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Construction & Testing

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
12
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in four 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate the construction of unique solar cells for student projects. General chemistry equipment and fabrication equipment will be needed for student construction and...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will construct their unique solar cellsStudents will test unique solar cellsStudents will revise procedures based on solar cell testing resultsStudents will re-build and re-test solar cells
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Construction Progress and Obstacles

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
13
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in one 80-minute section. The teacher will facilitate 3-4 groups as they share their construction progress and obstacles. Students will share individual results in a fishbowl setting and will participate in providing...
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Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Engineering Report

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
14
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in three 80-minute sections. The teacher will have students write their engineering reports with the following sections: Introduction (taken from Lesson #10), Design (incorporating the model from Lesson #10), Methods,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will format solar cell data into tables and graphsStudents will draw conclusions based on testing dataStudents will construct an engineering report in a research poster format
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Engaging with Solar Panels

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
This lesson is designed to span 2 days with 80-minute sections. On the first day, the teachers will challenge the students to assemble circuits with solar panels that can power up 1) a motor with fan, 2) a music-playing circuit, and 3) an LED. Students will...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will construct working solar panel arrays to power LEDs, fans, and music boxesStudents will sketch models of working solar circuits
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Solar Panel Basics

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
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,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will review circuitry basics and solar cell layersStudents will model N-layers, P-layers, and the N-P junction in a physical circuit activity
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Solar Panel Data Sharing

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in one 40-minute section. The teacher will facilitate the sharing of student solar panel data from indoor and outdoor testing with fans, music circuits, LEDs and any other combinations that were constructed. Teachers...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will analyze and share out power generation results with classmates
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

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