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Solar Panels for Your Home

NOVA scienceNOW, WGBH Educational Foundation, Teachers' Domain

In this video segment from NOVA's Saved By the Sun hour-long video, students learn about photovoltaics and see how two families are using solar technologies in their homes. The video introduces the ideas of state incentives and net metering benefits.

Video length: 3:55 minutes.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Video supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts
High School: 8 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Perhaps students could assess how many of these kinds of homes are in their community.

About the Science

  • This 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 are provided.
  • The animation helps students visualize how solar panels work. The animation shows how photons and electrons work within panels, and how that feeds electricity to a house.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Allow enough time for video to buffer if viewing online.
  • Has closed-captioned text.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

See this related animation about solar panels: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/tech/how-solar-cell-works.html

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Video supports:

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