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Database Provider

Author

Dan Kwartler

Grades

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

Subjects

Science, Physics, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Videos, 5 minutes, 25 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media
  • Articles and Websites
  • Assessments

Regional Focus

Global

Why Don't We Cover the Desert with Solar Panels?

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Synopsis
  • This animated video explains how solar panels work and describes some of the benefits and challenges of using solar energy on a large scale. 
  • This resource includes comprehension questions, links to explore further, and a guided discussion board. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video uses engaging animations that students will enjoy.
  • The video provides a balanced view of the benefits and disadvantages of large-scale solar energy plants.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students and teachers must create a free account to use the "think" and "discuss" features.
  • Teachers can modify the TED-Ed questions and create new discussions.

Differentiation

  • Students could compare and contrast solar energy with other energy sources.
  • Students could research options for using solar energy on a small scale in their homes, school, or community.
  • Economics classes could compare the cost of solar energy with other energy sources. Students could discuss the connection between the increase in demand for solar energy and the price decrease.
  • Geography classes could use this interactive solar energy potential map to locate suitable sites for solar farms.
  • Other resources on this topic include this Khan Academy video on solar energy technology, this digital book on the basics of solar energy, and this interactive map on solar energy infrastructure in the United States.
Scientist Notes
Solar Power is now the most inexpensive way to create electricity. As such, ideas like covering deserts with solar panels seem like a good idea. This video resource from TED-Ed digs into that idea. 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
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
    • PS3: Energy
      • HS-PS3-2. Develop and use models to illustrate that energy at the macroscopic scale can be accounted for as a combination of energy associated with the motion of particles (objects) and energy associated with the relative position of particles (objects).
  • Related Resources

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