Environmental Literacy and Inquiry Working Group, Lehigh University
Activity takes about one to two 90-minute lab periods, depending on students' familiarity with building circuits.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
This Activity builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.
Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Students should have previous experience wiring circuits and be familiar with the differences between series and parallel circuits before completing this activity.
- Could be used in technical schools that focus on engineering or could be used informal education.
About the Science
- This lesson is from a 6-week instructional sequence on energy resources. The entire sequence can be found here: http://www.ei.lehigh.edu/eli/energy/sequence/index.html.
- Comments from expert scientist: Very good information presented and mostly in a way that won't get out-dated. Strong connection to basic scientific principles. Good hands-on activity for science classes.
About the Pedagogy
- Students investigate solar energy with a combination of watching video clips and building their own photovoltaic cell to power several small appliances.
- Assessment requires a log in, so is protected against students going online to look up answers.
- Does not offer a lot of inquiry, as it is 'cookbook style.'
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- Photovoltaic Cells video clip seemed to end early as if the entire clip wasn't loaded all the way.
- Pictures of wiring in instructor and student handouts may help students who have not had much experience with creating different types of circuits.
- Lab kits must be purchased (wires/ photovoltaic cells/ light bulbs/ music box/ fan / etc.), which may be a major limitation for some schools.