About the resource
Division 1
Division 2
Division 3
Division 4
About the resource
Division 1
Division 2
Division 3
Division 4

Shining a Light on Solar Energy: Teaching and learning about sustainable energy


Developed in collaboration with the Emerging Leaders for Solar Energy (ELSE) and funded by a grant from the Community Environment Action Grant program, Shining a Light on Solar Energy was created to support educators and learners in developing energy and climate literacy using critical inquiry and a multidisciplinary approach.

With twenty-four lessons for kindergarten to grade twelve, this resource explores the roles that solar power might play in providing sustainable energy for our vehicles, homes, schools, and communities. This resource has been designed to nurture the competencies required for scientific thinking and critical inquiry, with a focus on using critical thinking to deepen conceptual and subject-area understanding.

Developed to be used individually or as a set, each fully-developed lesson includes teaching notes, briefing sheets, image sets, activity sheets, and assessment materials to support student thinking and learning about solar energy. Students are invited to think critically about questions such as:

  • What are the most significant effects of the methods used to generate electricity in Alberta and Canada?
  • How do solar photovoltaic cells, arrays, and systems use energy from the sun to generate electricity?
  • How might home and school solar energy systems be optimized?
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Funded by Government of Alberta

This project was funded by the Community Environment Action Grant program.

Division One (Grades K-3): This division consists of three lessons that explore where light comes from, the differences between renewable and non-renewable resources, and where energy comes from.
Division 1

Division Two (Grades 4-6): This division consists of six lessons that explore the science behind how plants and solar panels use electricity from the sun, the factors that influence the efficiency of solar panels, and the environmental effects of solar energy systems.
Division 2

Division Three (Grades 7-9): This division includes six lessons that examine the parts and functions of solar PV systems, the methods used to generate electricity and their effects, and the optimization of home solar PV systems.
Division 3

Division Four (Grades 10-12): This division includes nine lessons that explore the science behind solar cells, the optimization of small- and large-scale solar energy projects, and the roles that solar energy might play in providing a sustainable source of energy mitigating the effects of fossil fuel use.
Division 4