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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Here, you can find free sustainability lessons to use in your class and upload your own lessons to share. Be sure to rate the lessons you use and leave comments for your colleagues!

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Be “Sun-sible” About Heating Water

Lesson Description:
In this inquiry-based lesson, students will work in groups to build a solar water heater and will investigate which colors absorb more radiant heat and transmit it to the water, and study the relationship between insulation and heat loss. Teacher background, assessment questions, and extensions are provided. The expected out come in this activity is for students to understand how solar energy can reduce the hot water energy bill.
 
The student will do the following:
  • Construct a simple solar water heater.
  • Investigate color and heat. 
  • Investigate insulation and heat.

Lesson Type:
  • Group Work
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Sustainable Water Challenge
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
120 minutes
Materials Needed:
  • Juice cans
  • Paint (white, black, green, red)
  • Very hot water
  • Food colors
  • Ice cubes
  • Thermometers
  • See attached sheet for complete list

School or Group:
Tennessee Valley Authority
Contact Email:
service@greeneducationfoundation.org
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf solar_water_heating.pdf

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Center for Green Schools