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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Harnessing Solar Energy

Lesson Description:
Helps students to to discover the properties of light (radiant) energy from the sun by experimenting with solar collectors, cookers, and calculators.
Lesson Type:
  • Experiment

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Standards Addressed:
This investigation could be the beginning of a unit on the many forms of energy.

Ideas in this lesson are also related to concepts found in the following benchmark:
  • 4d the physical setting: structure of matter, (6-8) #3

Materials Needed:
-Cardboard box
-Black paint
-4 Small metal cans
-4 Thermometers
-Torn-up paper
-Shoebox (without a top)
-Aluminum foil
-Black construction paper
-Clear plastic wrap
-Tape (clear and masking tape)
-Small paper cups
-Heavy corrugated cardboard (or foam board)
-Flexible cardboard
-Rulers/meter sticks
-Thin wooden skewers
-Hot dogs
-Solar-powered calculator
-Light source (including the sun)

Before class, paint the cardboard box black and let it dry.
School or Group:
Science Netlinks
Contact Email:
For Further Information Please See:
Located in: Science

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