NOVA scienceNOW, WGBH Educational Foundation, Teachers' Domain
Video length: 3:55 minutes.Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
About Teaching Climate Literacy
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
4.5 Electricity generation.
5.4 Economic factors.
5.6 Environmental factors.
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Allow enough time for video to buffer if viewing online.
- Perhaps students could assess how many of these kinds of homes are in their community.
- See also http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/how-solar-cell-works.html
About the Science
- An animation illustrates the process within solar panels that transforms sunlight into electricity. Then Phil Reavis, Jr. explains his interest in solar energy and the environment, and how his family was able to install solar panels on the roof of their house to produce electricity. In addition, the custom-designed home of Bill and Debbie Lord is discussed, which uses both solar electricity panels and solar hot water panels.
- Comments from expert scientist: Attempts to explain net metering, mentions difference between solar thermal and solar PV panels.
About the Pedagogy
- A background essay, discussion questions, and a link to standards is provided.
- The animation provided is great for students to visualize how solar panels work. The animation shows how photons and electrons work within panels, and how that feeds electricity to a house.
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