Lesson Plans

Note: Lesson Plans with ** are recommended but have NOT been adjusted for California.


Ice Ice Baby: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan & Sudent Worksheet

Learn about the insulating properties of different cups. Stimulates thinking on how to reduce energy use in homes.

Shingles Lesson plan: Grades 6-10th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

Use model houses to study how the color of the roof impacts thermal comfort and energy use. Use the magic shingle that looks the same as commonly used shingles but can reduce energy use substantially.
NOTE: This lesson plan is best taught after Solar Kit Lesson 9.

How Much is A kWh? Grades 9-12th Lesson Plan

Students will learn how much it takes physically to generate 1 kWh of energy.

Power Up: Introduction of power with Photovoltaic Cells Grade 6-7th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

The objective of this section is to give students an understanding of power. Student at the end of this lesson should understand current, voltage, and what it means when Power is calculated with the power equation.

Evaporation in the Desert Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

Students set up an experiment in the classroom to mimic various desert biome conditions (solar radiation, high ground temperatures, wind, and low vegetative cover). They relate each of these conditions to evaporation rates.


School Power Naturally of New York Lesson Plans

Solar Cell Inquiry (Solar Kit Lesson 1): Grades 3-7th Lesson Plan & Studen Worksheet

After examining electrical contacts and the use of solar cells and rechargeable batteries to power electric motors, students are able to describe how a solar cell is similar to and different from a rechargeable battery as a way to explain to others how a solar cell work.

Sunshine Timer (Solar Kit Lesson 2): Grades 3-6th, 7-8th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

Students interpret data for patterns of cloud cover that affect solar-powered energy production and predict energy production under given cloud conditions.

Parts of Solar Panel I (Solar Kit Lesson 3): Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Parts of a Solar Panel II (Solar Kit Lesson 4): Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Build a Simple Ammeter (Solar Kit Lesson 5): Grades 5-9th Lesson Plan

After building and working with a simple ammeter, students are able to describe the relationship between the direction of a current and the magnetic field it produces.

**Solar-Powered Battery Charger (Solar Kit Lesson 6): Grades 5-9th Lesson Plan

In this lesson students will: 1) observe the relationship between the direction of electrons flowing through a battery and the chemical changes in a battery, and 2) propose, build, and test designs showing that solar cells must be connected in such a way as to produce an adequate voltage to recharge a battery.

**Positioning Solar Panels I: Explorations with Tracking (Solar Kit Lesson 7):
Grades 6-9th Lesson Plan

After using a mini-solar panel, and tracking and recording data on the Sun's position in the sky, students are able to identify relationships between position of the Sun and a solar panel's output power.

**Positioning Solar Panels II: Explorations with Stationary Panels (Solar Kit Lesson 8):
Grades 6-9th Lesson Plan

After collecting and analyzing data on the amount of sunlight that strikes solar panels in various stationary positions, students are able to identify an optimum mounting position for a given day of the year and explain why engineers typically mount PV modules in a specific position in Southern Calirfornia.

Properties of Solar Radiations: Reflection, Transmission and Absorption. (Solar Kit Lesson 9):
Grades 6-9th Lesson Plan

After using a solar panel as a radiation meter to distinguish how well various materials reflect or transmit solar radiation, students are able to predict reflection and transmission properties for various materials, and test their predictions by calucalting reflect.
NOTE: Shingles Lesson Plan is designed to follow afrer this lesson.

Properties of Solar Radiation (Solar Kit Lesson 10): Grades 5-8th Lesson Plan

Direct and Diffuse Light.

Power Maximum: An Electrical Determination (Solar Kit Lesson 11): Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Calibration Curve for a Radiation Meter (Solar Kit Lesson 12): Grades:7-9th Lesson Plan

Students are able to link the concept of "brightness" to a graphical mathematical representation or, for more advanced students, an algebraic mathematical representation. Students ready for algebra are able to determine the slope-intercept equation for this linear relationship.

Solarize a Toy (Solar Kit Lesson 13): Grades 7-10th Lesson Plan

After designing and constructing solar-electric power sources for a selection of small electric toys, students are able to determine an electric toy or device's power requirements, design an alternate solar-electric power supply, and appraise the effects of both variable lighting conditions and the size of the solar-electric power supply on the operating performance of their toy or device.

Solar Cells as Control Devices (Solar Kit Lesson 14): Grades 11-12th Lesson Plan

Students complete a design project using a solar cell as a control device or as part of a feedback circuit.

Solar-Powered Electrolysis of Water and the Hydrogen Economy (Solar Kit Lesson 15): Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.


Infinite Power of Texas

**Elementary School Units of Study:
Grades K-3th Lesson Plan

Renewable Energy and Sustainability: Grades 4-5th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

The Advantages of Renewable Energy: Grades 4-5th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Using Energy Wisely: Grades 4-5th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Renewable Energy for the Home: Grades 4-5th Lesson Plan
-> California adaptation: Lesson Plan <-

This lesson focuses on using natural and simple renewable energy sources to heat and cool our homes without giving up comfort. Students will learn that by using nature to cook our foods, dry our clothes, work and play, we can save money, reduce dependence on fossil fuels and help clean up our environment. Students will familiarize themselves with using renewable energy in their homes by engaging in an introductory class discussion, reading and answering questions from the Reading Passage, conducting a Lab Activity to measure the temperature of water heated by the sun and graph their lab results, and giving final presentations of assigned topics.

**Electricity from the Sun: Grades 4-5th Lesson Plan

This lesson introduces students to electricity and reviews methods of generating electricity using renewable energy resources. Students will learn about wind, solar, and photovoltaic systems as well as biomass and hydroelectric sources of energy. Explanations of these systems are presented along with connections to students’ life experiences. Students will familiarize themselves with electricity from the sun by engaging in an introductory class discussion, reading and answering questions froms the Reading Passage, and conducting a Lab Activity to build an electric circuit in the form of a renewable energy trivia game.

Solar and Electric Cars: Grades 4-5th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Renewable Energy Resources for California: Grades 4-6th Lesson Plan

In this unit students will learn about renewable energy and the various resources that are available in California. Students will engage in an Internet-based activity in which they will research an assigned renewable energy resource and make a presentation on the resource to the class.

Roping the Texas Breezes: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

**Solar Electricity Works for Texas: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan

In this activity, students will learn about how the diverse Texas geography affects our solar energy resources. Students will map areas of Texas for solar insolation to learn where photovoltaic power has the greatest potential. Students will also investigate various geographic regions in Texas, their climatic conditions and how they can influence solar energy potential. The many possibilities for using solar power is a central theme. Students can research rainfall amounts and other weather information throughout Texas to determine where there is less sunlight, in addition to creating a solar insolation map. This lesson will be adjusted with similar weather data for California.

Solar Water Heaters: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

Students will discuss the concept of a passive solar water heater system and its components. Students will study how a solar water heater functions by making a simple, passive solar model and taking temperature measurements and recording and graphing their results.

Solar Water Heaters for Swimming Pools: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

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.

Cooking With the Sun: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

In this unit, students will construct and test three kinds of solar cookers to observe the differences in their efficiency. By the end of the unit, students should have an appreciation of the availability, simplicity, and cost effectiveness of using the sun as an energy source. Students will compute Fahrenheit/Centigrade conversions.

**Passive Solar Design for Homes: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan

Students will learn about using the right type of materials in a home that conserves energy and the importance of building orientation and window sizing. Students will engage in an activity to measure temperature changes in several thermal storage samples. By the end of the unit, students will appreciate the need to plan construction with proper materials. Students will learn that simple measures, such as landscaping and installing thermal storage, make a big difference in energy consumption.

Energy Conservation in the Home: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan & Student Workheet

In this unit, students will learn about ways to conserve energy in the home through building materials, such as insulation, windows and shading techniques, and by using efficient appliances in the home. Emphasis is given to the significant causes of heat loss in a home. Students will realize the importance of using proper insulation with a high R-value to reduce heat transfer. Students will conduct a simple experiment to test the differences in heat conduction among several materials.

Biomass-Nature's Most Flexible Energy Resource: Grades 6-8th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Renewable Energy Guide for Buildings: Grades 9-12th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

Wind Power Basics: Grades 9-12th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.

**Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems: Grades 9-12th Lesson Plan

This unit introduces students to the concept of converting sunlight to electricity with photovoltaic cells. Students will familiarize themselves with these concepts through the Reading Passage, answering Assessment Questions, and by conducting a Lab Activity to determine the effect of several variables on the output of a photovoltaic cell. The follow up activity explores energy from the sun in terms of heat energy to expand on the concept of electricity generation.

**Estimating PV System Size and Cost: Grades 9-12th Lesson Plan
For condensed version see sub-module

This unit provides students with information about the actions a builder or homeowner can take to increase heating and cooling efficiency of a home while reducing dependency on nonrenewable sources of energy. Differences in insulation materials and their heat conductive properties will be compared in the laboratory activity. Conserving valuable energy by improving R-values for insulation in each residential and commercial building is a point to emphasize. After completing this unit, students will be more knowledgeable consumers regarding energy efficiency and passive solar, photovoltaics and wind power options.

Sub-module: Calculating the Size of a PV Array Grades 7-8th Lesson Plan & Student Worksheet

Clean Energy from Texas Landfills: Grades 9-12th Lesson Plan

Lesson plan not recommended.