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Solar Power

Solar energy is everywhere, and is being increasingly used for power, but it is expensive to harness.

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Solar Decathlon
Teacher Contributed

Solar Decathlon


The Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon Competition

Student Exploration

As gas prices rise and our fossil fuel sources are in higher demand than ever, the conversation has shifted to energy alternatives like solar power. In an effort to encourage more development in the solar energy field, the US Department of Energy sponsors a competition every other year in Washington D.C. called the Solar Decathlon. Teams of college students from all over the world compete to design and build the most energy efficient house. Meet CHIP:

Is this a home of the future? How do you see solar energy impacting our future world?

Extension Investigation

  1. How do we create solar panels? http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/solar/insi-nf.html http://is.njit.edu/competition/2009/Cat2_2_Winner_Group142/ Create a prezi to show how the various raw earth materials are put together to make a solar panel.
  2. What factors do you need to consider when trying to make an efficient solar car? Design a model solar car for the Solar Sprint Challenge: http://www.nrel.gov/education/jss_hfc.html Here are some investigations to help you on your way: http://www.nrel.gov/docs/gen/fy01/30830.pdf

Resources Cited

Department of Energy. Solar Decathlon Competition. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/index.html

Solar Decathlon Curriculum. http://www.solardecathlon.gov/pdfs/curriculum_life.pdf


NOVA. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/solar/insi-nf.html

Solar Energy Technologies. http://is.njit.edu/competition/2009/Cat2_2_Winner_Group142/

Connections to other CK-12 Subject Areas


  • Atoms?
  • Elements?



  • Proportion?
  • Angles?


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