K-12 Solar Schools Curricula

Obtaining funding for stipends that will enable teachers in our state to write K-12 Nebraska Solar Schools curricula is a program objective. Until then there are a number of excellent sets of solar schools curricula available to teachers, including the following.

FLORIDA SOLAR ENERGY CENTER

FSECThe Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is a research institute of the University of Central Florida. The free, downloadable curriculum materials listed below were compiled and written by Susan Schleith and Penny Hall of the FSEC. The purpose of each of the four units is “to create an awareness of the power of solar energy, the importance of it in our lives, and its impact on the future of energy development.”

Individual pages may be printed and duplicated for student classroom use, provided that proper credit is given to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

The pages are available in Adobe PDF by clicking on the links below. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader you can download the program by clicking here.
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Solar Matters I: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades K-2
Sun and Energy (Introductory Activities)
K-W-L
Sun and Me Posters 1
Web of Life
            Web of Life story
            Web of Life cards
Human Gnomon
Wind Watching
Rainbows, Rainbows, Everywhere!
UV Bead Magic
Sun and Heat
Sun and Shade
Solar Energy and Color
Rain Machine (Solar Still)
What’s Cooking?
            Solar Cooker Plans: File Box Cooker
            Solar Cooker Plans: Cook-it Style Panel Cooker
            Recipes and Cooking Tips
What’s Cooking 2
Sun and Electricity
Solar Cell Simulation
Solar Powered System
Solar Energy and Me
Sun and Me Posters

Solar Matters II: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades 3-5
Sun and Energy (Introductory Activities)
K-W-L
What Do We Get From Solar Energy?
Sun Misconceptions
Food Chain Gangs
UV Beads With Sunscreen
Making A Sundial
Solar Thermal
Sun and Shade
Solar Energy and Color
Ice Cube Race
Insulation
Rain Machine (Solar Still)
Solar Still 2
What’s Cooking?
Photovoltaics: Making Electricity
Solar Cell Simulation
Solar Powered System
The Hydrogen Connection
Electrolysis of Water
Solar Energy and Me (Concluding Activities)
Poster Contest
Solar Energy Time Line
Remember When
Electricity Use Time Line
On My Street
Triangle Game
Game Rules/Instructions
Game Board
Game Pieces

Solar Matters III: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades 6-8
Introductory Activities
K-W-L
Sun Misconceptions
World Population
End of Cheap Oil
Climate Change
Kilowatt Ours
Remember When
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Solar Thermal
Ice Cube Race
Insulation
Hot or Not?
We’re In Hot Water Now
Rain Machine (Solar Still)
Solar Still 2
What’s Cooking
Solar Cooker Plans – File Box Cooker
Solar Cooker Plans – Umbrella Parabolic Cooker
Solar Cooker Plans – Cook-It Style Panel Cooker
Cooking Tips
Recipes
What’s Cooking 2
Photovoltaic
Solar Powered System
The Photovoltaic Panel
Solar Powered System 2
We’ve Got the Power
Good Day Sunshine!
$olar $avings
Engineering Design Challenge – The Junior Solar Sprint
Introduction and Overview
Race Rules
Information for Organizers
The Photovoltaic Panel
Panel Specifications
The Chassis
Wheels, Axles and Bearings
Drive Train and Transmission
The Body
The Hydrogen Connection
Electrolysis of Water
Fuel Cells: Futuristic Battery 
Putting It All Together
Poster Contest
Triangle Game

Understanding Solar Energy: A Solar Energy Science Unit for Grades 9-12
Sun and Energy
Electromagnetic Spectrum
Laboratory Manual
Solar Thermal
Solar Still
Laboratory Manual
Survival Still
Laboratory Manual
What’s Cooking?
Cooking Tips and Recipe
Laboratory Manual
What’s Cooking 2
Laboratory Manual
What’s Cooking 3
Laboratory Manual
Photovoltaics
Solar Power For Sun Town
Solar Powered System
Laboratory Manual
Photovoltaics – Advanced Exercises
Photovoltaic Power Output & I-V Curves
Laboratory Manual
Photovoltaic Orientation & Power Output
Laboratory Manual
Irradiance, Temperature & PV Output
Laboratory Manual
Series and Parallel Circuits
Laboratory Manual
Effect of Shading on a Photovoltaic Module
Laboratory Manual
Photovoltaics – Data Acquisition
Solar Powered System – 2
Laboratory Manual
Good Day Sunshine!
Laboratory Manual
The Hydrogen Link
Electrolysis
Laboratory Manual
Fuel Cells – Futuristic Battery
Laboratory Manual
Solar Power!
Triangle Game
Game Rules/Instructions
Game Board
Game Pieces
Solar History
Time Line
Laboratory Manual

ADDITIONAL FSEC SOLAR ENERGY SCIENCE UNITS
Alternative Fuel Matters is a compilation of individual activities for grades 6th through 8th that create an awareness of the potential of alternative energy sources. The activities covered in Alternative Fuel Matters are interdisciplinary, and could be used in several curriculum areas.

Building Performance Matters is designed to help students learn about building sciences, energy-efficiency, and renewable energy through a two-week unit of instruction for grades 9-12. This unit is coupled with comprehensive, web-based educational resources and a database for teachers and students.

Florida Solar Energy Center’s K-12 Education Resources:  http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/k-12/curricula/index.htm

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NEED logoNATIONAL ENERGY EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT (NEED) PROJECT
The nonprofit, National Energy Education Development (NEED), creates curricula on all energy sources for teachers and students, including free downloadable publications.

A fundamental principle of NEED’s philosophy is “Kids Teaching Kids” – “encouraging students to explore, experiment, and engage, and encouraging teachers to embrace student leadership in the classroom.”

Curriculum Correlations
NEED has correlated their materials to the Disciplinary Core Ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards. NEED has also correlated all of their materials to The Common Core State Standards for English/Language Arts and Mathematics. All materials are also correlated to each state’s individual science standards.

Permission to copy:
All NEED materials may be reproduced for non-commercial educational purposes. When sharing them with others, please provide credit to the National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project.

NEED solar energy resources include the following PDF publications:

The Sun and Its Energy (e-publication)
Primary students are introduced to solar energy with a read-aloud book and classroom-based activities. Students will learn that the sun’s energy produces light, transforms to heat, powers the water cycle, produces wind, and that solar cells convert radiant energy into electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Wonders of the Sun Teacher Guide  (e-publication)
Wonders of the Sun Student Guide  (e-publication)
Elementary students develop a basic understanding of solar energy through background reading and classroom activities. Hands-on activities demonstrate solar energy transformations into kinetic energy, thermal energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Energy From the Sun Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Energy From the Sun Student Guide (e-publication)
Intermediate students learn about solar energy through investigations that explore radiant energy transforming into thermal energy, kinetic energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Exploring Photovoltaics Teacher Guide (e-publication)
Exploring Photovoltaics Student Guide (e-publication)
Secondary students learn how solar energy is used to generate electricity.  Students are introduced to photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and developing solar technologies.  Activities explore how photovoltaic cells work and what variables affect their electrical output.

Schools Going Solar
  (e-publication)
This 56-page guide provides lessons and activities to support and incorporate installed photovoltaic systems into the classroom-learning environment.
Grade Levels: Intermediate and Secondary
Subject Areas: Science, Math, Technology, Social Studies, and Language Arts.

Additional Resources
Power Point Presentations

Introduction to Solar Energy (long version)
Introduction to Solar Energy (short version)

Solar Energy Animations
Capturing Solar Energy
Capturing Solar Energy by Focusing
Grid-tied Photovoltaic Panels
Overview of Solar Cells
Single-Junction Silicon Solar Cells
Small, Off-grid Photovoltaic Systems
Solar Energy Production: Fusion
The Greenhouse Effect in Structures
The Greenhouse Effect: Global Model
Types of Solar Cells
Using the Sun’s Heat: Radiation and Absorption
Solar Curriculum in Spanish
Energia Solar
What is Solar Energy
Energy from the Sun Teacher Guide and Student Guide
Supplemental Materials http://www.need.org/content.asp?contentid=151

NEED SOLAR CURRICULUM KITS – GRADES K – 12

NEEDCatalogCoverMost of the curriculum resources and materials described on this website, including NEED’s, are free or inexpensive, enabling teachers to create excellent Solar Curriculum Plans at little or no cost. For teachers who plan to focus only on NEED curricula, the following kits come with a teacher guide and 30 student guides, as well as all the materials needed to complete the projects. The guides and materials can also be purchased separately. (See “Renewable Energy Kits & Games” for additional sources of solar energy kits and materials).

The Sun and Its Energy Primary Kit: Grades K-2
Primary students are introduced to solar energy with a read-aloud book and classroom-based activities. Students will learn that the sun’s energy produces light, transforms to heat, powers the water cycle, produces wind, and that solar cells convert radiant energy into electricity. The kit includes an all-encompassing teacher and student guide and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Wonders of the Sun Kit: Grades 3-5
Elementary students develop a basic understanding of solar energy through background reading and classroom activities. Hands-on activities demonstrate solar energy transformations into kinetic energy, thermal energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of 30 Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Energy from the Sun Kit: Grades 6-8
Intermediate students learn about solar energy through investigations that explore radiant energy transforming into thermal energy, kinetic energy, chemical energy, and electricity. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of 30 Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

Secondary Kits: Grades 9-12
Secondary students learn how solar energy is used to generate electricity. Students are introduced to photovoltaic systems, concentrated solar power, and developing solar technologies. Activities explore how photovoltaic cells work and what variables affect their electrical output. The kit includes a Teacher Guide, a class set of 30 Student Guides, and the materials necessary to conduct the activities.

ENERGY & SOCIETY EDUCATION KIT, Project Learning Tree

Energy & Society KitProject Learning Tree’s Energy & Society Education Kit provides formal and non-formal educators with tools and activities to help students in grades PreK-8 learn about their relationship with energy and investigate the environmental issues related to energy’s role in society. It also helps students develop critical thinking skills to make decisions about their personal energy use. In addition to hands-on activities, Energy & Society integrates music and dance to enhance the study of energy issues. The Energy & Me CD was selected as a Parents’ Choice Recommended Award Winner and a Children’s Music Web Award Winner. The kit can be purchased from PLT’s online store, or contact your PLT State Coordinator for more information: www.plt.org/Energy-Society-Kit