AUTHOR: John Sandru; Battle Mountain Junior High, Nevada
GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: 5-6 Solar Energy
This lesson is designed to explore different aspects of solar energy. The students have already been exposed to various forms of alternate energy sources and the reasons for their use. The students will build a solar hot box in order to test various colors and materials to find the maximum temperature that can be reached.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this lesson is to demonstrate to students through discovery that different colors and materials create various temperatures.
This lesson will begin with a review of what alternate energy sources are. Each student will be required to brain storm as many energy sources as they can in a set time limit. At the end of the time limit the students will discuss which of the energy sources are used every day and which ones are alternative sources. Ask the students to discover for themselves why we consider some energy sources alternate and some not.
Explain to the students that today they will experiment with solar heating to decide if all energy needs in the U.S. can be met by solar energy.
When the students have decided which box worked the best and which one didn't work ask them to brain storm conditions outside that would help or hinder the solar heating process. Make a list on a large sheet of paper and hang it the room.
For the next day, ask the students to compose a paragraph addressing why solar energy might not be the answer to all the energy needs of the U.S.
These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center's Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.
This activity has been copied, with permission, from the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) server to ours, to allow faster access from our website. We encourage you to explore the original site.
See one young man's experimentation with solar cookers for a science fair project!
Back to Coalition Home
To Reach Out! volunteer organization at the University of Michigan