Solar School Spotlights & Solar Energy Curricula

Solar School Spotlights

Longs Peak Middle School Tour

West Salem Middle School Tour

Friends Meeting School Tour

Casey Middle School Tour

Mountain Middle School Tour

Washington Waldorf School Tour

Steelton-Highspire School District Tour

Kenston Middle School Tour

Plumas Charter School Tour

International School of Denver Tour

Here are resources for teachers to share on how solar energy works.

Introductory Solar Videos

There are a multitude of resources available on the basics of solar energy for all age groups. This section contains a curated list of YouTube videos that provide an introductory overview of how solar photovoltaic systems work. Each video is roughly 3-5 minutes long.

Some are more than five years old, so references to the economics of solar may be out of date. (For instance, renewables reached cost parity with fossil fuels for electricity generation in most countries back in 2021.) The Vox video at the end provides the most recent update on the economics of solar.

High-Level Overviews

How Solar Power Works (briefly) goes over the different parts to a solar system.

Solar Photovoltaics 101 provides a nice high-level overview of solar photovoltaic technology.

How We Turn Solar Energy Into Electricity covers solar basics and a bit on the history of solar.

Solar Work Book

Deeper Dives

How do solar cells work? This video is more advanced and covers P- and N-type layers in solar cells.

How Do Solar Panels Work? (Physics of Solar Cells) For the initiated or advanced students, this video delves more into the physics of solar while still remaining fairly accessible.

How solar energy got so cheap This video from Vox covers the precipitous fall in the cost of solar.

Lesson Plans

TeachEngineering.org is a comprehensive resource for different grade levels. Here are some other recommended lesson plans:

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons-plans/lesson-plan-is-solar-power-the-future-of-energy/

https://www.teacherplanet.com/search/node/solar%20energy

https://www.teachengineering.org/lessons/view/cub_energy2_lesson09

https://climatekids.nasa.gov/

https://www.teachengineering.org/lessons/view/unm-2006-photovoltaics-cells-solar-energy-panel-space

https://www.weareteachers.com/free-online-learning-resources/

https://www.education.com/activity/science/

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Sustainability-For-Young-Learners-Courses 

Activities To Do With Students

ASES Solar Energy Workbook
ASES developed a Solar Energy Workbook for everyone ages 8-108 to learn about solar and other renewables. It is great for the classroom, in person or online.

National Solar Tour School Guide
Interested in participating in the National Solar Tour? Here’s a guide on some suggestions how best to host a tour and have an impact on your students and school!

Present “Every Building is a Solar Building” Presentation
Teach your students about the basics of solar buildings and passive solar.

Sustainable School Resources (Solar, Electrification, and more)

How to Apply for Clean School Bus Program Funding

With $500 million available through a simple rebate process, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean School Bus Rebates Program brings clean rides to schools and the local community.

This webinar discusses various partnership models aimed at assisting school districts in advancing energy improvements. It explores examples of partnerships with communities, energy service companies, universities, and utilities. The presentation shares the successful experiences of school districts nationwide in collaborating with diverse partners.

Powering A Brighter Future in Pennsylvania
How Schools are Funding the Switch to Solar, Success Stories, and More. by Generation180.

Certifications

Solar Energy Graduate Certificate Online – Penn State World Campus (psu.edu)

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