Influent Energy believes higher education is key to helping the solar industry grow. We are dedicated to supporting educational organizations teach students about the benefits of solar energy. As part of our commitment, we have developed the Generating Tomorrow curriculum for K-12 students. The curriculum is not only meant to teach about energy efficiency and solar energy, but includes place-based, project oriented, real-time lessons that build upon one another. Our program includes 21 activities spread over 10 lessons. The lessons target a school’s existing math and science curriculum to provide supplemental material and instruction for various topics including: energy forms and sources, energy conservation and energy, the benefits of efficient lighting and solar technology, and the value of renewable energy– specifically solar. The overall goal of Generating Tomorrow is to empower educators and students with the knowledge to create greener, healthier schools that use less energy, use energy more efficiently, add renewable technology, and incorporate the best practices for sustainability.
Lesson 7A: Exploring Photovoltaic Technology
Students will take a closer look at the photovoltaic (PV) system at their school. They will relate the features of these systems to the knowledge they have about energy, particularly solar energy, and draw upon their understanding of irradiance and solar radiation to study how a PV system works. Students will explore the benefits and drawbacks of solar technology.
This lesson includes a step-by-step discussion guide, activity worksheet, additional resources on PV systems, and an adaptation for primary grades. At the end of lesson 7A, students will be able to address the following questions:
- What is the difference between a solar cell, solar panel, and solar array?
- What purpose does a solar panel serve? What energy transformations occur in a solar panel?
- Where is the best location to place a solar panel? Why?
- List at least 3 components of the photovoltaic system. Briefly describe the function of these components.
Students will expand upon their solar photovoltaic knowledge in the following lesson “7B: How a Photovoltaic Cell Works”
PROGRAM GOALS & OUTCOMES
Students and teachers increase their knowledge about the basics of energy generation, the life-cycle impacts of different energy sources, and the opportunities of energy efficiency, conservation and renewable energy.
Students use school buildings as “learning labs” where they conduct real life, hands-on research projects and develop public speaking skills through various activities.
Teachers gain practical training to incorporate hands-on lessons about energy efficiency and renewable energy into their classrooms.
Students and teachers learn about reducing environmental impacts through energy efficiency, renewable energy and increasing sustainability.
Students are assisted in taking on the role of energy efficiency or renewable energy stewards of their communities, generating greater community-wide respect for their leadership capacity.
Schools integrate sustainability, green building, renewable energy, and energy education across the curriculum.