Teaching Tips: The Magic of Solar Cells

On this page we’ll share some teaching tips for utilizing the Magic of Solar Cells resource (video, poster, and cards) in your classroom to enhance any solar electric project you’re exploring. By including this lesson, your students will gain a broader perspective of how this amazing technology is being used around the world.

The Poster

Place the poster on the wall of your classroom for students to view and ignite conversation. If you don’t have a copy you can order one here.


The video is 6-7 minutes long and introduces many different applications of solar cells, introduced in a historical timeline. You can watch the video together as a class or assign it to watch as homework or an independent assignment.

Video: Edpuzzle

An EdPuzzle version of the video with embedded questions has been created by Celine Young, a middle school teacher in Southern California. Students must answer questions from within the video before moving forward. They get immediate feedback on the answers and have an option to re watch the segment if needed. There is a dashboard for the instructor to monitor all students participation. There is also an option for showing the video LIVE in class, and having students answer the questions via their laptops if available. Students have the option of showing subtitles or close caption. You can sample the Magic Solar Cell Edpuzzle video below to see how it works. Just click on the arrow in the middle of the image. To make a copy for your own use, click on this link and follow instructions to create your own account (it’s free) to set up and share with your students.

Deck of Cards – Solar Applications

The deck of cards is one way to assign a solar application to each student. You can randomly deal the cards to the whole class, making sure that all applications have been assigned to a student researcher. Perhaps students can come up and pick a card from the wall were all are posted. Download the PDF, print on paper or cardstock, cut into cards, and you’re ready to go.

Assignment – Research an application

This worksheet provides some guidelines for students. It is available as a editable googledoc so that you can make a copy and edit as needed. You may decide that students should present their summaries as SLIDES or Powerpoint, or perhaps a one page written summary plus a few photos, or perhaps making a short video. The main objective is that students are learning about how this technology is being used in the world, by researching one of the applications shown in the poster and/or video. The focus is on finding stories that describe the application in action, versus just a technical summary. Sharing with the rest of the class or another audience is an opportunity to teach someone else about what you’ve learned, enhancing your own learning. It’s also a way to share the information with the whole class, broadening everyone’s perspective together.

Article Bank of Solar Articles

If you’d prefer not to send your students out on the internet to research for articles, we’ve selected a variety of articles telling stories about various solar applications and put them in one place – in the Magic Solar Cells Article Bank


Tor with any questions. info@solarschoolhouse.org