Solar and Wind Competition
Each year KidWind runs statewide Solar and Wind challenges for grades 4-12. Students and teachers alike rave about this rich experience. Equipment and entry are free for participating clubs. No teacher expertise is necessary, as KidWind holds office hours for students and provides technical support for teachers.
Hands-On Solar Projects: Solar Schoolhouse
Source: Solar Schoolhouse
Doing is believing. Solar Schoolhouse offers hands-on, student-centered activities that demonstrate how solar energy can be harnessed and used. Ideal for elementary and middle school, projects include solar ovens (thermal), solar whirligigs (photovoltaic), and DIY solar panels (photovoltaic). All materials are available for purchase as classroom kits at the School Store tab.
National Energy Education Development (NEED) Solar Curriculum
Source: National Energy Education Development (NEED)
NEED specializes in K-12 renewable energy curriculum and teacher professional development. Their site includes a huge library of standards-aligned lesson plans (free) and hands-on experiment kits (for purchase).
Energy Transformations Lesson and Solar Circuit Challenge
Source: Solar Empowered Schools
In the first part of this lesson, students will explore different forms of energy and discuss how energy can be transformed. In the second part, they will apply their understanding as they build their own circuits using solar panels, motors, lights, and switches. Ideal for 5th grade, but applicable for grades 4-12. Equipment required; materials list included.
Classroom Kit Lending Library for Renewable Energy Experiments
Source: Center for the Advancement of Sustainable Energy (CASE)
Virginia teachers can check out classroom sets of hands-on learning kits for free! The library includes experiment kits for solar and wind, NEED experiments, and energy-related books.
Solar Suitcase Project: Local Learning, Global Impact
Source: We Share Solar
This hands-on STEM education program links practical engineering skills with global humanitarian service as students build and share We Share Solar Suitcases with schools in energy-scarce regions of the world.