Solar Energy: Improve Our World

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?



31 thoughts on “Solar Energy: Improve Our World

  1. The solar ovens looked so cool and the making process looked so much fun I wish I signed up but didn’t, solar energy is amazing.

  2. This video is very cool and I will like to show and teach a lot of people. Good job Mrs. Hamman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. My experience with solar energy is pretty much making pop corn in a small solar oven. I would like to know what causes materials like tin foil to attract heat so well.

  4. Solar energy is very interesting. My experience is that I made a solar oven with a group

  5. Wow! That is amazing! My experience is that I made a solar oven. They are super easy! And they are cheap and fun to make!

  6. It was really interesting and a little funny. I am very happy to know these things.

  7. This video was soooooo cool and i hope we reach our goal of 1000 views!!!!!!

  8. Great job everyone! It is a great learning video. I learned alot about solar energy and solar cooking.

  9. Since, I was in Mrs.Hamman’s class I was able to also read a Long Walk to Water and Amal Unbound. These books we actually really fun along with the solar energy we were researching about. I really loved being able to work on the solar lights with my friends and I hope that the solar energy projects improve the world.

  10. I don’t have much experience with solar energy, the only time I have used it was to make sugar cookies in 2nd Grade.
    My question is, what else can you use solar energy for?

  11. I loved it, it was amazing and i loved to see the timeline of all the DIY lights and to see which one stayed on longer Thank you for making this video i enjoyed it a bunch!

  12. This video was amazing! These students should really raise a lot of awareness.

  13. This is a awesome video I learned so much about helping the world. Everyone in the video did such a great job and you could tell that they put a lot of effort into it. I loved this video and I learned a lot from it! Thanks for posting this!

  14. It’s nice that the students are concerned that people don’t have electrity and clean water. I hope that they will try to help the world in the future.

  15. I loved making this video, working on solar ovens, as well as thinking about life’s real solar problems and finding ways to solve them. It was so cool to see how well our solar ovens worked and I enjoyed working with a group. One question, who came up with the genius idea of solar energy? It’s great! Reading along with the books, Amal Unbound and a Long Walk to Water, really helped me understand the true amount of solar energy needed in small villages. Thanks so much Mrs. Hamman for this fun experience!

  16. Savio

    Hope this works out. It’ll make the world a better place. 🙂 🙂

  17. Awesome idea, those solar ovens are usefully and easy! Ya’ll use your brains smartly and well (most of the time). Especially the Solar squad lamp, so cool. I am so glad to be in part of this solar project.

  18. The only experience I have with solar is the solar lamps.
    I wonder what would happen if people would only use solar?

  19. I really loved the video. I will try to convince my mom to buy a solar oven.

  20. I absolutely loved the Solar energy idea. This can help lots of people it looks very easy to make! Everyone how participated in this idea worked very well. The solar squad lamp was very cool too ( I was in the group who made that lamp 🙂 ) Overall this was an amazing idea.

  21. My friends made solar ovens, and I got to check the temperature. The highest temperature was around 200 degrees! I’m glad that people who aren’t fortunate to own energy or ovens can now have an easier and safer way of cooking!

  22. That was awesome! My experience with solar energy is solar lanterns which are easy and cheap to make. I have absolutely no questions.

  23. My favorite part of the whole solar energy project was making the solar ovens. My group got to 208 degrees! I hope that we can find many different ways to let solar energy to help our world.

  24. This was very interesting information. I believe that this information will be very useful later on in my life.

  25. My experience with solar energy was when I was camping with my Girl Scout troop and we used a solar oven to melt cheese for nachos. I honestly have no questions. It was super fun and I hope it helps people in need. 🙂

  26. Why are solar ovens not more used in Arizona? It rarely rains and theirs lots of sun.

  27. I love the activity and I believe that students worldwide should have a strong understanding of it so we can all donate to ones in need of efficient and clean cooking methods!

  28. I really liked this video, and I think others will enjoy it. A lot more people don’t have electricity than I thought! I think this might encourage people to use more solar energy.

  29. Congratulations,Mrs. Hamman and students!

    You have tackled an important issue in your project based learning and have beautifully shared your learning with the world. Our students of today will be tomorrow’s leaders and problem solvers, and you are well on your way. I am also very interested in the types of projects that will help others around the world, as well as help in the battle against climate change.

    Have you learned about the Global Goals ( in the course of your project? I have tried to incorporate these goals for the last several years into various student projects because they are so important for us all. Your study of solar power ties in beautifully with Goals 2 through 7, and also 13. We al need your problem solving skills to make the world a better place.

    I am also very impressed with how you credited your images and sound track. This is something very important in digital citizenship. Thank you so much for sharing your project!

    Mrs. Ruffing

  30. One of the projects in the video I forgot was when Mrs. Hamman grew potato plants in a cup.

  31. Hi!
    Cool video! I totally believe in solar energy to make our world brighter! You make such a good point on what we are missing out on. We pollute way to much when we don’t need to! What are you planing to do to further better our world through solar energy?


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