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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Solar Water Heaters for Swimming Pools

Lesson Description:
In this unit students will learn how solar energy can be used for heating swimming pools. students will distinguish differences in conduction, convection and radiation and how the terms relate to heat loss in swimming pools. Students will measure the rate of heat loss in a simulated swimming pool, apply a simple solution to reduce heat loss and learn the components needed for an efficient solar pool heating system.
Lesson Type:
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Energy

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Energy Challenge

Time Needed:
10 minutes 15 minutes 45 minutes activity 1 – teacher introduction activity 2 – assessment of current student knowledge activity 3 – reading passage and vocabulary homework assignment – sentences with vocabulary science reading vocabulary language arts 30 minutes 60 minutes activity 4 – pre-lab activity 5 – lab science 30 minutes activity 6 – post-lab science 30 minutes activity 7 – assessment science
Materials Needed:
  • copy of the Reading Passage and Student Data Sheets (includes reading comprehension questions, covabulary and Lab Activity) for each student 
  • copy of the Assessment Questions for each student
  • graph paper
  • an eqipment kit for each group containing the following:
    • goggles
    • 3 aluminum pie pans
    • 3 thermometers with movable clip (candy thermometer)
    • 1 clear plastic "swimming pool cover," cut from a clear plastic bag to fit inside the pie pan
    • 1 dark-colored plastic "swimming pool cover", cut from a dark-colored (black or brown) trash bag
    • a timer
    • 3 containers, such as a large Styrofoam cups, with 300 ml each warm water (approximately 85oF) 
    • a beaker or graduated cylinder to measure 300 ml  

School or Group:
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf No11 96-825B.pdf

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