How effective would solar cells be in any particular area of the United States? In this activity, students answer that question by analyzing graphs of incoming solar radiation. Students will download two solar radiation graphs, one based on latitude and one based on cloud cover. After transferring that data to the accompanying worksheet, students will determine the areas in the United States best suited for the use of solar cells. Using both an overlay graph and a difference graph, students will determine the practicality of solar cell power for a home in various U.S. locations. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary, and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics.


    Education Levels:

    • Grade 1
    • Grade 2
    • Grade 3
    • Grade 4
    • Grade 5
    • Grade 6
    • Grade 7
    • Grade 8
    • Grade 9
    • Grade 10
    • Grade 11
    • Grade 12


    oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140407123533409T,NSDL,Physical sciences:Heat and thermodynamics,Electricity,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-115,Grade 8,Solar radiation,Earth Science,Engineering and technology:Aircraft, probes, satellites and/or spacecraft,Physical sciences:Energy,Earth and space science:Earth processes:Climate,Atmospheric science,Earth and space science:Earth structure:Atmosphere,Physical sciences:Electricity and magnetism,Middle School,Earth and space science:Earth processes:Earth's energy budget,Physics,Engineering and technology:Remote sensing,Earth and space science:Solar system:The sun:Solar-terrestrial interactions,Earth system science,Engineering,High School,Space science,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Earth and space science:Earth processes:Weather,Earth and space science:Earth, moon and sun:Seasons,Technology,Geoscience,Space Science



    Access Privileges:

    Public - Available to anyone

    License Deed:

    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike


    This resource has not yet been aligned.
    Curriki Rating
    'NR' - This resource has not been rated
    'NR' - This resource has not been rated

    This resource has not yet been reviewed.

    Not Rated Yet.

    Non-profit Tax ID # 203478467