Renewable solar energy holds the potential for solving the world's energy needs, and moving us away from fossil fuels. It is also a great tool to teach your middle and high school students about many scientific principles in physics, chemistry and biology.
Caltech scientists, working with local high school science teachers, have created a self-contained kit for their Juice from Juice project that demonstrates how you can use blackberry and other fruit juices to generate power from sunlight. This kit contains most of the materials you will need for creating solar cells for your entire class of students- you just add the juice! Each student will get hands-on experience creating solar energy while having fun applying principles of physics, chemistry and biology. This is a great STEM activity.
Dye Sensitized Solar Cell Kit (Juice from Juice)- For class of 30 working in pairs (or slightly more with groups of 3). Pairs team up for a group of 6 to use multimeters
5 Digital multimeters
10 Alligator clips
15 mL Iodide/triiodide electrolyte solution
25 mL Titanium dioxide paste
30 FTO glass electrodes (2 x 2.5 x 0.3cm)
30 Pipettes 2mL
30 Binder clips, small
15 Golf Pencils
15 Ziplock bags
1 Roll Scotch tape
OTHER ITEMS REQUIRED:
1 L Isopropanol
1 L Distilled water
Download lesson plans below. Separated by grade level and discipline.
Grades 3-8 Science Datasheet
Highschool Science Datasheet
Download chemical safety MSDS 37pg PDF document.
Additional resources provided by Caltech
Reinventing The Leaf Scientific American
Power Plants Scientific American
Graetzel Cell 1998
Understanding Electrochemistry: Some Distinctive Concepts
What Is Titanium? From Wise Geek (word doc)
Caltech Solar Energy Research in the News (word doc)
I Want You For Solar Army Poster (power point doc)