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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Solar Cell Simulation

Lesson Description:
Students model the flow of energy from the sun as it enters a photovoltaic cell, moves along a wire and powers a load. The game-like atmosphere involves the younger students and helps them understand the continuous nature of the flow of energy. For a related lesson, please see the activity “solar powered system”.
Lesson Type:
  • Group Work
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
30 minutes
Standards Addressed:
  •  National standards: k-4
    • Pri-b: 3.a. Light travels in a straight line until it strikes an object. light can be reflected by a mirror, refracted by a lens, or absorbed by the object.
    • Pri-b: 3.c. Electricity in circuits can produce light, heat, sound, and magnetic effects. electrical circuits require a complete loop through which an electrical current can pass.

Materials Needed:
  • Open area (field or playground) 
  • Chalk or traffic -tape to outline areas
  • Bell
  • 40 ft String or rope, with 10 knots 2 feet apart (the rest is unknotted. Knot the two ends of rope together in a large circle.)

School or Group:
Florida Solar Energy Center
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf solar_cellsimulation.pdf
Located in: Creativity | Creativity

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