Solar Cells (aka Photovoltaics, or PV cells) are unique in that they convert sunlight to electricity, without any moving parts. This magical technology, invented in the 1950s at Bell Labs, is now providing power for many applications all around the world… and in space too. One of the best ways to ‘see’ electricity is to use it to power a kinetic load, something that moves, or makes music. For your students’ solar experience, we’ve packaged a set of silicon solar cells along with motors & fan, and a musical sound module that produces a tune when powered correctly. With this solar set, you’re sure to ignite your student’s imagination, preparing them to be active participants in the transition to a cleaner energy future.
Refer to the Guide associated with the Solar Cell Classroom Set for ideas on use with students. The two sets are similar, though the Activity Set has more cells, motors, fans, and adds in a set of solar musical sound modules (aka music chips) for an extra design challenge. Note that the Activity Set does not include a Digital Multimeter (DMM) so if you’d like to add this to the lesson, consider getting a set of DMMs to supplement.
REGISTER YOUR SET. If you just received an Activity Set, scroll to the bottom of this page to register your set, to receive updates as new curriculum and activities evolve.
The Solar Carnival project is based on the ingredients of the Solar Cell Activity Set (Plus a wheel). The idea is to provide students a project they can be creative with and apply their new skills, after conducting several solar cell explorations. The solar cells, motors, fans, music in the Activity Set, can be recaptured at the end of the project, for use with next year’s class. (Requires addition of 2″ yellow wheels + the solar cells/motors/music in the activity set) Learn more here.
Solar Spin Art: Mesmerize your students with this solar powered art project! A solar cell powers a motor attached to a 2″ yellow wheel. Attach a paper disc to the wheel using double-sided tape. Add direct sunshine and colored pens and watch the magic happen. The completed artwork can be attached to a whirlygig project, or to a necklace medallion, or used to create a button, or taped/glued onto/into a nature journal (sketch book). (Requires addition of 2″ yellow wheel + 3/4″ pvc coupling, plus the solarcells/motors in the activity set). Learn more here.