Building A Solar House by Teachers Talking Science


Mar 9, 2011

By Teachers Talking Science

Buildings that are called “green” or “environmentally sustainable” are designed to use energy as efficiently as possible. The designers’ goals are to improve the quality of human life and to minimize detrimental effects on the environment, such as depletion of natural resources. In Missouri, Washington University’s Tyson Living Learning Center achieves sustainability by incorporating green technologies in different ways, including the use of solar panels.

In this activity, students will explore how solar panels work by building a simple circuit, a series circuit and a parallel circuit, using a solar panel to light a bulb and comparing which method yields the brightest light. Then students will build a solar-powered house using a shoebox, and test some variables to determine the most efficient way to harness solar energy to power a model home.

Grade Level: 6th – 8th grade
Subject Matter: Physical Science
National Standards: NS.5-8.1, NS.5-8.2, NS.5-8.5

See the entire Science Friday lesson plan at the source below.