How The Sun's Position Affects Solar Electricity Generation

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • interpret graphs and data to identify trends in solar electricity generation
  • explain the reason for recurring increases and decreases in electricity generation throughout the day, and the peak in generation around meridian
  • use the term 'meridian', demonstrating their understanding that meridian is the point at which the sun reaches its highest altitude in the sky
  • demonstrate their understanding that the consistent increase in solar electricity generation during meridian is due to the sun's energy being at its highest level of intensity.

Teaching Rationales

The students process and interpret the solar electricity generation data and suggest explanations for the observed pattern. Students then use a model to explore the correlations between the generation of solar electricity and the position of the Earth in relation to the sun at specific times during the day. Students consider the impact of the greater intensity of solar energy at certain times and how this relates to sun safety messages.

Learning Areas, Strands, Achievement Objectives

3 - 4 Science

Physical World
Physical inquiry and physics concepts

  • Students will explore, describe and represent patterns and trends for everyday examples of physical phenomena, such as movement, forces, electricity and magnetism, light, sound, waves, and heat.

Nature Of Science
Investigating in science

  • Students will ask questions, find evidence, explore simple models, and carry out appropriate investigations to develop simple explanations.

Activity-specific Achievement Objectives

3 - 4 Science

Physical World
Physical inquiry and physics concepts

  • Students will interprete solar electricity generation data and identify and describe patterns relating to the position of the sun in relation to the Earth that affect the capacity to generate solar energy.

Nature Of Science
Investigating in science

  • Students will interprete available solar electricity generation data and develop explanations that explain this data.