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Collection of Reviewed Teaching Resources

Renewable Energy - Solar Panels

Subject taught
- Biology
- Chemistry

Link
https://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-do-solar-panels-work-richard-komp

Type of Product
- Videos
- Web Site/Portal

Language Skills Developed
- Interaction
- Listening
- Reading
- Speaking

Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
• To know the reason why silicon is used in pv cells • To know how P-N junctions work • To know the limits of pv cell efficiency

Description
• General aims
o To show students the tight interaction between theoretical science and everyday power needs, and how high level studies can solve problems crucial for mankind
o To learn to analyse all different aspects of a problem and to focus attention on the most critical ones which need to be improved
• Linguistic aims
o To increase students’ capability to extract information from short documentaries in a foreign language.
o To learn to describe with scientific language the conversion of light into electricity
o To practice the impersonal language to speculate about scientific topics.
• Subject specific aims
o To understand energy transformations and efficiency of these transformations
o To learn that differences in ground insolation depend on geographic latitude
o To realize that it is important to store the excess of energy during the day, as solar energy cannot be generated during the night
o To realize the existence of photons and electrons and their interaction
o To learn electron deficiency can be considered as a positive charge
o Target group age: 15-16
o Level of competence in English (CEFR) B1
o Time required to use the resource with the students 3 hours
o How to use it
o Watching the video, after a general explanation about the structure of the atom and the properties of silicon, explain how it is possible to drug it using its neighbour atoms in periodic table.
o Stimulating the discussion between students in order to focus their attention on which aspects of pv cells are critic and are to be improved to make them a valid, competitive method to produce energy.
o Possible difficulties for the students
o understanding the mechanism of production of electricity, the origin of the electric force which accelerate electrons in P-N junction.
o understanding the corpuscular nature of light, as made of photons

Comments
Strength The students need to become aware of the fact that science and technology are fundamental for nature conservation and they must be the key to perform a sustainable use of its resources Weakness The principles of operation of photovoltaic cells are based on fundamental laws of Physics, and these can be quite difficult for students Pedagogical value (e.g. collaborative learning, self–directed learning, peer assisted learning, etc) After watching the video, the guided discussion between peer is an important phase of the learning process. In this way students develop a critical sense in analysing an urgent problem: how to satisfy the increasingly urgent need to produce energy and preserve the environment at the same time.