Why is solar energy for kids important? The Sun is a powerful source of radiant energy, and solar energy is free and inexhaustible renewable energy. It is part of a solution to many environmental concerns about emissions created making electricity.
Harnessing solar energy is a relatively new concept. It has the potential to fix many of the major environmental and energy challenges which are faced by the world.
Solar power can become a viable alternative to generating electricity from burning fossil fuels like gas and coal, which affect the environment by contributing green house gas (GHG) pollution affecting air, water, and land.
The GHG created during burning fossil fuels can lead to damaged forest areas, acid rain and affected agricultural production.
We could say we use solar energy for kids. Using solar energy can lead us to a cleaner future with purer air and water because solar power is a pollution-free electricity generator.
Why Should The Young Generation Know About Solar Energy?
The scope of solar energy is increasing day by day. The governments of many countries are looking for various ways to harness the power of solar energy.
Therefore, it has been crucial for us to teach our kids about solar energy.
Information about the creation and use of solar energy for kids very important. It is by making information available about solar energy for kids that they become aware about renewable energy options. The information about solar options would help the future consumers make informed energy choices in the future.
It could, in turn, conserve the Earth’s environment.
The spread of energy options available in developed countries reflects the country’s economy and energy security. More emphasis should be given to educating the youngest generation about renewable energy options. Resources like solar energy and wind energy need to be known so the appropriate energy choices are available to future generations.
The younger entrepreneurs might uncover or invent new technologies to make the renewable energy resources more efficient.
Kids understanding of solar energy can also be improved by exploring many ‘do it yourself’ solar energy projects like making solar boats, solar robots, solar cars etc. Learning about solar energy and the science of electricity technology can be easier with the assistance of solar toys.
Introducing Solar Energy Early On In A Child’s Life
It is never too early to make your kids aware of the importance of solar energy. Solar energy for kids can be introduced when they are in kindergarten.
With just a few simple activities these young minds can easily grasp the importance of solar energy. Solar energy information for students should be given out in schools and colleges for creating awareness.
Simple Projects To Introduce Solar Energy For Kids
Kids would love to participate in these fun activities and learn how sun rays make electricity. A small session of solar energy training in school would definitely provide the required awareness in the young generation.
A solar oven can be made to look like the image below and this can be used to bake something like a potato.
To build this oven, one would need a pizza box, a sheet of plastic, foil, a roll of tape and a pencil.
Kids would love this simple experiment as they would get to have a treat after building and using the oven to bake potatoes.
A solar-powered Lego Car can also be made to perfectly introduce electric vehicles to kids.
What would be required to build the car shown in the image below? The list consists of wheels, axles and gears which are bits available from Lego; a small portable solar panel of 9V; a small 6V motor and an extra strong glue, which are available from a hardware or electrical hobby store.
You could make a long-lasting novel toy that doesn't need batteries. This project could be a good motivation for adults and kids to undertake this project using solar energy for kids type instruction.
You might use simple solar energy projects like these for teaching or explaining to kids the science of solar energy.
Installing Solar Panels At Home
When your family are planning to install solar energy panels at home, you will find the kids will inevitably become curious and become interested to know about it.
Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity. Photovoltaics is the science of collecting and converting sunlight into electricity by the use of semiconducting materials which attribute the photovoltaic effect.
The concept of solar energy for kids can be easily explained by showing them the many working solar panels we come across in our day to day life. There are solar calculators too which use the sunlight for its working. Big solar panels can be even seen on house’s rooftops. Solar panels are sometimes installed on cars and boats.
A few fun facts about solar energy can be explained to the kids with the following interesting examples.
Solar powered cars are available which basically run using the sun’s energy.
They have solar panels which collect the sunlight and convert it to electricity which charges a bank of batteies to run the car. A lot of things have to be kept in mind while designing a solar car. The solar car needs enough solar panels to power the batteries and the car has to be very light.
All the solar cars which have been developed up until now have been used in solar car races; the most popular one being World Solar Car Challenge which is conducted in Australia.
Another interesting example which can elaborate solar energy to kids is the solar-powered boat.
In Sydney Harbour Australia there is a passenger ferry which is called the Solar Sailor. This vessel can be operated on sun, wind, battery power or diesel fuel. A special solar wing technology is used by this boat to collect the sunlight for electricity and for wind power.
There are large batteries that store all the electricity generated by solar panels. This electricity which is captured powers the electric motors.
There are even solar energy powered airplanes which are in operation.
Solar Impulse 2 uses the latest solar technology and equipment. More than 17,000 solar cells have been used in this plane to collect the solar energy. This first solar-powered plane covered its first journey across the Pacific with only solar energy and without any fossil fuel in 2016.
Solar Energy Facts And Information
- Solar energy is an abundant and free source of energy.
- Solar energy consists of sun’s radiation (heat and light). Solar energy is harnessed from a range of modern techniques including solar heating collectors, solar architecture, photovoltaic cells , artificial photosynthesis, and solar thermal electricity.
- About 174 Petawatts of solar radiation is absorbed by the upper atmosphere of earth, 30% of the incoming radiation is reflected back and some of the remaining radiation is absorbed by clouds, land masses and oceans.
- Solar energy for kids can be initially explained by making kids aware of photosynthesis wherein sunlight plays a major role in plant growth and work from there.
- Solar energy has a very important role in horticulture and agriculture.
- There are solar powered hot water systems which make the use of solar energy to heat the water.
- One of the oldest use of solar energy is in the creation of salt from the sea water. Water is evaporated from sea water leaving salt.
- Solar energy is an ecologically acceptable alternate source of energy to fossil fuel. It doesn’t create any pollution when generating power, which combats the greenhouse effect on climate contributed by fossil fuels.
- Solar energy can be stored in thermal storage systems, for example in molten salts.
- The Mojave Desert in California is considered to be the largest solar power plant in the world. It covers about 1000 acres.
- Electricity bills can be reduced to a large extent by the use of solar energy.
- The sun is actually the source of the many non-renewable forms of energy like fossil fuels which were plants and animals millions of years ago.
- The pollution generated by the use of non-renewable forms of energy reduce the intensity of the sun’s rays from reaching the earth.
Little Changes Go A Long Way
The sun’s energy has been used by the humans for many years but the technology of photovoltaic cells is fairly new. Kids will be adopting the technology of renewables more quickly than earlier generations.
Though everyone knows solar power is a better form of energy, but as a new thing it takes time to be adopted, many are happy using existing forms of energy. In the last ten years as solar panel prices continue to get better the tide is moving in favour of more homes adopting solar power. Educating about solar energy for kids encourages the coming generations to look at the whole energy picture.
In time we can learn to become more energy efficient by adopting many energy conserving habits in our daily life. Energy is used by us inefficiently and we might aim at conserving the energy for a better future.
Recycling could be followed by all of us. The more we recycle the natural resources the more we conserve them for future generations.
Vampire energy is the type of energy which is used by the appliances that use electricity 24 hours a day. Even when they are not in use or are turned off, they continue to use the electricity. Televisions, personal computers, microwaves, washing machines, coffee machines, stereo, DVD players etc are some of the examples of the appliances which use vampire energy.
To avoid these appliances from using vampire energy, simply start unplugging the devices/appliances when they are not in use. Try and use the natural light of the sun during the day. At night use the light of the room you are using and switch off all other lights in your home.
Create more awareness about solar energy for kids and encourage them to adopt and practice these and other energy-conserving habits.Even small changes can help in conserving the energy for our future generations.
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