Hot Water and Warm Homes from Sunlight

Grades 4—8

Written by Alan Gould

Embracing solar power could dramatically slow the exhaustion of our fossil fuels and stem greenhouse effects that compromise our climate. It's probably not a new concept to most students, but the notion of harnessing sunlight can be expanded in exciting ways. In this unit, students actually build and study model houses and home water heaters to understand and appreciate the nature of this powerful source of alternative energy.

An introductory activity—an on-paper experiment about growing plants—defines the concepts of controlled experiment, variable, and outcome. Students conduct experiments to determine the effects of size, color, and number of windows on the amount of heat produced from sunlight, and a section on solar ovens reinforces the many practical uses of solar power. Newly revised information on the "greenhouse effect" connects to the GEMS guide
Global Warming, which makes a natural follow-up unit on this significant environmental issue.

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ISBN: Grade Level Format Price



5 Sessions,
80 pages


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