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Author

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Biology, Physics, Economics

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon

Old MacDonald Had a...Massive Solar Farm (Oh, and Sheep)

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Synopsis
  • This video will introduce viewers to the concept of agrovoltaics, which adds solar panels to farmland in strategic ways that can benefit the farmers and produce clean electricity.
  • Topics covered include research about putting solar arrays on farmland versus open farmland, the benefits of agrovoltaics for energy production and farmers, and how introducing agrovoltaics can impact farms. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video will give students a solid understanding of how agrovoltaics is mutually beneficial for agriculture and solar power production.
  • The visuals included in this resource are helpful for students of various learning styles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should understand some of the hurdles that solar power has to overcome in order to gain access or reduce restrictions.

Differentiation

  • This resource would work equally well in science classes learning about solar power or in social studies classes considering how societies overcome problems.
  • Before watching the video, an interesting discussion starter would be to ask students to think about symbiotic relationships and discuss what they are, having them think of examples. Then explain that this video will introduce another symbiotic relationship that may be surprising. 
  • Could Everyone Have Solar Power? would be a great paired video with this resource to extend the lesson.
  • After watching the video, have students research areas near them that could benefit from agrovoltaics. Is there a way for them to advocate for this change? 
Scientist Notes
This video introduces the concept of agrovoltaics, which is the idea of pairing agriculture with solar farms. The benefits of agrovoltaics for the farmers, crops, and animals are discussed. Limitations of this method are discussed as well. This is an example of a different climate solution that is normally not talked about. The information presented is accurate and this resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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