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Harnessing the Power of Solar Energy Exploration with KidWind

Students use KidWind Solar Exploration Kit

Looking for a way to explore solar energy in your class—and promote hands-on science learning at the same time? KidWind, our line of renewable energy products, includes solar panels appropriate for teaching students from K–12 to college.

Emphasizing Real-World Applications

Investigating the science and technology of renewable energy sources, including solar energy, can help increase student engagement; renewable energy tends to resonate with learners who are concerned about climate change.

With KidWind, students don’t simply read about solar energy but build things that harness the power of the sun to function.

This dedication to real-world applicability was on full display at the 2023 National KidWind Challenge, which included a Solar Challenge for the first time. In addition, all teams participated in an “instant challenge” that involved building a solar water pump. 

The Solar Challenge top performers demonstrated how teaching the science of renewable energy can foster creative problem solving. For instance, Team Hungry Chickens created a functional solar chicken feeder. 

“We live in a mostly rural county,” the members of the team wrote. “We wanted to invent a solar-powered device that would help the farmers in our county.”

Photo source: KidWind

Supporting Science Learning Across Subject Areas

As with all KidWind solutions, the Solar Energy Exploration Kit provides an excellent jumping-off point for hands-on science learning that can be tailored to different subject areas.

For instance, physical science or physics educators may choose to focus on the technical and electrical aspects of solar energy because it’s a good basis for teaching circuitry, as well as the definitions of voltage, current, power, and energy. 

However, students don’t have to be studying physics—or even have a physics background—to get a lot out of KidWind’s solar energy resources. 

Like the Solar Energy Exploration Kit, the Solar Energy Explorations Go Direct® Package is a great resource for courses that teach environmental science concepts. 

Specifically, the versatility of the solar panels allows students to explore key scientific concepts, such as conservation of energy and energy transfer, as well as the scientific method (e.g., the impact that changing one factor, such as the temperature or the angle of the solar panels, can have on the whole project).

In terms of tailoring solar energy exploration to different grade levels, Vernier offers three lab books—all of which feature engaging, educator-tested experiments that focus on renewable energy and promote hands-on science learning.

For more information about KidWind’s solar energy solutions, email our team at

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