- Subject: Science/ Environment
- Driving Question: How can solar energy make a difference in this world?
- Pedagogical Method: Project-Based Learning / 5E
- Grade Level: 7, 8, 9
- Duration: 5-6 periods
- Delivery Method: Blended
- Materials: laptops/tablets
Identify solar energy as a renewable source of energy.
Calculate solar potential in different regions in the world.
Deduce the generated electricity from solar potential in the different regions.
Determine the benefits of solar energy.
Identify solar technologies.
Prepare a feasibility plan for solar energy in Lebanon.
In this phase, students engage in activities that aim to activate their prior knowledge and inspire them to explore the world around them. Encourage them to be curious and ask meaningful questions!
Display the attached image about the status quo of electricity in Lebanon and initiate a discussion about possible solutions, which include the shift/utilization of solar energy.
Introduce students to the topic of Solar Energy following the suggested introduction:
Solar energy has been used for more than 2,700 years for heating, cooking, and other essential applications that make our lives more efficient. It’s obvious why the sun has been such an essential resource for humanity — if its rays can heat our bodies while we’re just walking around outside, there must be other things we can do with it!
Yet, solar energy technology really only came into its own in 1954, when Bell Laboratories created the first commercially viable solar cell. Since then, solar power has leaped into prominence as the fastest-growing sector of the energy economy, creating jobs at six times the rate of the general job market. There are just so many advantages to using solar energy whenever and however possible. 174,000 terawatts of energy strike the earth as solar radiation at any moment, even on the cloudiest of days. In addition to this, one hour of sunlight is equivalent to one year’s worth of energy for the planet. Our sun is powerful. Not only is its energy virtually inexhaustible, but it’s also the most abundant source of energy on Earth. Fossil fuels just can’t compare. They don’t last as long, it takes eons to replenish, and they have a lethal effect on the environment.
We must make every possible stride to convert our society’s energy profile to completely renewable energy sources if we want to lower our collective carbon footprint, reduce global warming, and defeat climate change.
This phase consists of Observation, Research, and Discussion.
- Observation and Research-based Learning
Group DiscussionHave students discuss the results of their research in groups.
Class DiscussionFoster a rich whole-class discussion about students' observations and research results.
In this phase, students identify more linkages among the discussed concepts as they engage in a set of interactive activities. E-learning is based on discovery, play, and instant feedback.
At this stage, students have explored the different sources of renewable energy sources and the generated electricity from solar cells and calculated the cost of installing these cells. To dig in deeper, this E-learn phase is divided into four major sections: solar energy, the benefits and drawbacks of solar energy, solar technologies divided into photovoltaic cells, and solar heaters.
Ask students to solve the E-Learn section of the Solar Energy module on Tabshoura platform.
Encourage students to be autonomous learners and have them e-learn autonomously on the platform.
At the end of the E-Learn phase, foster a whole-class discussion to ensure that all the students have mastered the concepts included in the interactive activities. You may resolve one of the exercises with the whole class to emphasize a particular concept or skill.
In this phase, students get to develop a more in-depth understanding of the topic. Guide them to apply what they have learned and extend their knowledge.
Group Work: “The Bright Idea"
Have each group of students present their proposal in class. Foster their creativity. Encourage them to present their work in any way they like, e.g. poster, report, podcast, video, PowerPoint presentation, cartoon strip, et.
In this phase, students evaluate their work through self-assessment and peer assessment and/or reflect on their learning.
Have students individually reflect on their learning by responding to the following prompts.
Do you feel that your plan is applicable? What was the feedback of your teacher and classmates regarding your plan and presentation? How can you improve your plan and presentation?
How do you feel your solution relates to real-world situations and problems?
Do you feel that you, as one person, can make a difference in this world? Relate your answer to what you have learned in this unit.