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Project: Solar Homes

Experiment #10 from Investigating Solar Energy

Education Level
Elementary School


The Thomas family lives in a sunny, warm, dry region and recently was surprised when they received their electrical bill. They realized that they needed to do something to reduce how much they spent on electricity each month.

Mrs. Thomas did some research on the electric company’s website and found several reasons for switching to solar energy. Most important for the family was that they could save money on energy costs each month and reduce their taxes through a government program. In addition to saving money, Mrs. Thomas learned that solar energy is clean, renewable, and reliable.

In this project, you will construct a one-story solar home based on requirements and constraints. You will use solar panels to power a fan that will be used to cool your home. The goals are to make your model home energy-efficient and to achieve the lowest temperature possible in 300 seconds (5 minutes) on a warm day.


  • Vernier Surface Temperature Sensor to measure the temperature inside the house
  • 1, 2, or 3 KidWind 2 V Solar Panels to power the KidWind Motor
  • KidWind Motor to use as a fan

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #10 of Investigating Solar Energy. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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