US Dept. of Energy/Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Video length: 3:57 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: 7 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing GPe
Other materials addressing 1a
7.1 Economic security.
7.2 National security.
7.3 Environmental quality.
4.1 Humans transfer and transform energy.
4.5 Electricity generation.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- While not comprehensive coverage of the subject, this video can be used as an introduction to the two primary ways solar energy is harnessed to generate electricity.
About the Science
- Describes how solar power is harnessed in simple and understandable terms.
- The video focuses on strengths of solar power but does not address limitations or weaknesses.
- Comments from expert scientist: Good, simple introduction to solar energy. Please note: The narrator states that "Solar power interacts with greenhouse gases." This is not correct. Greenhouse gases primarily absorb the outgoing infrared radiation emitted by the Earth and generally do not interact with solar wavelengths.
About the Pedagogy
- Easy-to-understand narration and visuals about two types of solar energy technology. Applications of the technology are also discussed.
- Educators will need to expand upon the scientific concepts directly and indirectly presented in the video, i.e. energy capacity and storage, how pv panels work, etc.
- Can be used in conjunction with other CLEAN-selected solar energy activities and resources.
Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 1
MS-PS4.B1:When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object’s material and the frequency (color) of the light.
Disciplinary Core Ideas: 7
HS-ESS3.A2:All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
HS-ETS1.A1:Criteria and constraints also include satisfying any requirements set by society, such as taking issues of risk mitigation into account, and they should be quantified to the extent possible and stated in such a way that one can tell if a given design meets them.
HS-ETS1.A2:Humanity faces major global challenges today, such as the need for supplies of clean water and food or for energy sources that minimize pollution, which can be addressed through engineering. These global challenges also may have manifestations in local communities
HS-ETS1.B1:When evaluating solutions, it is important to take into account a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, and to consider social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
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.