Buildings that are called “green” or “environmentally sustainable” are designed to use energy as efficiently as possible. In Missouri, Washington University’s Tyson Living Learning Center achieves sustainability by incorporating green technologies in different ways, including the use of solar panels. In this activity, students will explore how solar panels work by building a simple circuit, a series circuit and a parallel circuit, using a solar panel to light a bulb and comparing which method yields the brightest light. Then students will build a solar-powered house using a shoebox, and test some variables to determine the most efficient way to harness solar energy to power a model home.
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