Solar power is not just for adults. With a little help, solar energy can be a fun and educational experience for all ages! Below are just a few simple projects and resources to help youth at home or in class learn about the benefits and uses of solar energy.
Solar-powered Pizza Box Oven:
Yep, you read that right, a Pizza Box Oven. Utilize the energy of the sun to make smores and other small baked or microwavable goods. It is a kid-friendly activity that requires some adult supervision.
All you need is…
- A pizza box
- Box knife or scissors
- An adult to help with cutting
- Aluminum foil
- Clear tape
- Plastic wrap (a heavy-duty or freezer zip lock bag will also work)
- Black construction paper
- Ruler or wooden spoon
- Thermometer (optional)
Model Solar Home:
Solar energy isn’t only good for cooking, it can also power your home, school, or business. The model solar home is a great way of sharing the power of rooftop solar on a kid-sized scale.
- Foam board or cardboard
- Toy solar panel
- electrical wire
- electric motor, led light, and other small electric items
- White glue
Buy the kit here or purchase a toy solar panel and build using your own available materials
Electric vehicles (EV) today may not have solar panel build in, but they are often paired with solar energy to reduce the cost and environmental impacts of the electricity they consume. Building your own small EV to play with in the sun is a way to show the utility of solar energy in our every day lives.
- 2 solar cells
- 2-4 alligator clip leads
- Rubber bands
- Small electric motor with pully
- Cardboard, foam board, or similar materials
- plastic bottle caps, film canister caps, toy wheels such as K’nex, etc.
- wooden shish-kabob skewers
- Straws or eye screws
Instructions at https://www.homesciencetools.com/article/solar-car/
Educational Solar Toys
There are a variety of small and cheap solar-powered toys available at your local stores, online, and sometimes even at your local gas stations. Toys like solar-powered cars, fans, phone-chargers, and houses offer opportunities to expands our understanding of all you can power using energy from the sun.
Find a list of educational solar toys at https://solarpowernerd.com/solar-kits-for-kids/
How Solar Energy Works
For Middle School and High School:
For Highschool and up: