This lesson aims to introduce students to solar energy. Energy from the sun plays a part in the use of nearly every other source of energy, from wind to biomass to yes – fossil fuels! Solar energy can be used to heat homes, heat water, dry crops, and generate electricity. Students will begin to explore all of these uses for solar energy, and take their learning outdoors as they build a solar-powered oven!
Looking for more home energy activities? We’re pleased to work with The National Energy Education Development Project (NEED), to deliver these fun activities. Be sure to check out their library of resources, and their specialized collection of energy-themed distance/at-home learning activities. All activities are totally free for use at home or school, and accessible by visiting their website, www.NEED.org.
*Primary reading is structured with the student reader page first, and the teacher/adult page second. Younger or less advanced readers can read along with the student pages, and the teacher pages may be read aloud to them. Advanced readers may be able to read most on their own.
Printable Coloring sheets:
Explore how energy from the sun can transform into useful thermal energy to cook our food! Students can assemble their own solar cookers from pizza boxes you may have at home from your last delivery dinner. Don’t’ have a pizza box? This activity can easily be done with any recycled cardboard, food containers, etc., and may also be conducted as a challenge with minimal instructions. No matter which version of this activity you conduct, you’ll need a sunny day. Design and construction can take place inside during any conditions. If cooking food, you may also need to reposition your cooker periodically. If you don’t wish to cook food, set it up with a thermometer inside and record the temperature change over time! Solar cookers are great for melting chocolate for s’mores, making melty cheese nachos, and under the right conditions, baking cookies or heating hot dogs! Make sure adults inspect your food before eating, to ensure food safety!
Additional support links:
*can be used with any energy sources activities!
Previous Lesson Plans:
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Natural gas is a common power choice for many American homes. It’s versatile, running appliances like clothes dryers, hot water heaters, stoves and ovens.