Jamie Kurtz, U.S. Department of Energy/Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Video length: 4:26 min.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
4.5 Electricity generation.
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Use video to help students understand the science engineering and technology behind Photovoltaic (PV) energy generation.
- The teacher should spend a bit of time discussing the concepts of band gap, electron hole pair, semiconductor materials, electromagnetic spectrum, and efficiency.
About the Science
- Innovations, from using materials that lower manufacturing costs to expanding application and use, are driving the photovoltaic (PV) industry forward.
- A brief PV history demonstrates the materials innovation and evolution from high cost silicon to less expensive multi-silicon and thin film.
- Comments from expert scientist: The information is in the activity is strong and is not likely to be dated in the near future. The video provides a good overview of photovoltaics, but also delves into more scientific detail than similar programs.
About the Pedagogy
- This video demonstrates how science, technology, and engineering are working together to innovate PV electricity generation.
- Good resource for student research especially in conjunction with the other resources at https://www.eeremultimedia.energy.gov/solar/
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1
MS-PS3.A4:The term “heat” as used in everyday language refers both to thermal energy (the motion of atoms or molecules within a substance) and the transfer of that thermal energy from one object to another. In science, heat is used only for this second meaning; it refers to the energy transferred due to the temperature difference between two objects.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 3
HS-PS3.D3:Solar cells are human-made devices that likewise capture the sun’s energy and produce electrical energy.
HS-PS4.B1:Electromagnetic radiation (e.g., radio, microwaves, light) can be modeled as a wave of changing electric and magnetic fields or as particles called photons. The wave model is useful for explaining many features of electromagnetic radiation, and the particle model explains other features.
HS-PS4.B3:Photoelectric materials emit electrons when they absorb light of a high-enough frequency
Cross Cutting Concepts: 2
HS-C5.2:Changes of energy and matter in a system can be described in terms of energy and matter flows into, out of, and within that system.
HS-C5.3:Energy cannot be created or destroyed—only moves between one place and another place, between objects and/or fields, or between systems.