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By | Feb. 2013
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Solar Energy Science Projects
Curriculum: Solar Power -(thermodynamics,
light/electromagnetic, radiation, energy
transformation, conduction/convection,
seasons, trigonometry)
Grade Level: Middle or High School
Size: Whole class or small groups (3 to 4)
Time: Activities range from 2 to 5 class
periods, depending on abilities of students.
Summary: The first three activities contained in the
packet focus on the practical uses of solar energy. The
activities deal with the heating of solids, liquids, and
gases. The final activity investigates the transformation
of light to electrical energy. And how different
wavelengths and intensity can effect the transformation
to electricity. The packet also contains a glossary.
Provided by the Department of Energy’s
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
and BP America Inc.

Solar
Energy
Science
Projects

CONTENTS

2
4
8
10
13

S

Solar Air Heater

S

Solar Water Heater

S

Solar Hot Dog Cooker

S

Effects of Amount and Wavelength
of Light on a Solar Cell

S

Glossary

SOLAR ENERGY
SCIENCE PROJECTS
Solar energy can be used to heat our homes,
heat water, cook our food, and power our lights.
These science projects will help you learn about solar energy and how it works. The first three projects focus on different ways to use solar thermal (or heat) energy. The fourth project focuses on solar electric energy. Each project is broken into several parts:

S The purpose of the experiment
S The materials and equipment you will need to do the experiment S Where to find some of the materials
S How to assemble and conduct the experiment
S What you may see during the experiment
S How the specific energy type works.
Some of the experiments may require help from an adult.
To help you understand new terms, we have included a glossary in the back. We have also included a resource list on the back page with information on where to get equipment for the experiments. The list also...
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