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This lesson provides an introduction to the use of the sun's energy. Topics include the history of solar energy usage and its more recent adaptations. There is also discussion of how the sun produces and radiates energy, what happens when it reaches Earth, types of solar systems, and the most common use of solar energy (heating). The lesson includes an activity in which students investigate the effects of color and collection area on the amount of solar energy absorbed by a system. They will use aluminum pie pans of different sizes and colors and compare the relative effect by their ability to heat water placed in them.
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