Our whole school has been working on project-based learning experiences with the theme of Improve the World. Grade levels are working on reducing food waste, protecting animal habitats, spreading acts of kindness, and many other ways to make our world a better place.
We surveyed our students at the beginning of the year to determine their areas of interest. Two of the most popular categories were world poverty and environmental issues. We saw a way of integrating our project with something we were studying in science, solar energy.
Students researched the history of the human use of solar energy, and learned that the sun actually powers all of the energy sources we use. We learned about how photovoltaic (PV) cells work. We also learned about the limitations of using solar energy, and how science is working on finding solutions to common problems.
In ELA we read books like Amal Unbound and A Long Walk to Water, which address the issue of global poverty and the effect of the environment on people’s daily lives. We started to focus our project on how solar energy could improve lives in the developing world.
We learned about the struggles kids in other places have to deal with to get an education. We learned about how a simple solar light could help students in villages without electricity read and study. We also learned about how solar cookers could help families pasteurize water and cook food without the danger, expense and environmental impact of open fires.
We also learned about the best ways to share the information that we learned beyond the walls of our school. We made a video to summarize what we’d like to teach other people. Check it out below!
We’ll be sharing this video at our school’s Improve the World Summit next Friday, May 3.
What is your experience with solar energy?
What questions do you have about solar energy?