November 11, 2016

This is a standards-based experiment for grades 9-12 designed to promote deeper understanding of the sun's role in powering our planet. Students build a simple device to measure the amount of solar radiation the Earth receives from the sun. Using data from the experiment, they will then calculate the solar constant -- the amount of energy the earth receives from the sun per square meter per second. As a related extension, learners also evaluate the power of sunlight closer to the Sun—at the distance of Mercury. This package includes comprehensive content support, student worksheets with answer keys, and links to pedagogical information that addresses common student misconceptions. This item is part of a larger collection of lessons developed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

- Education > General

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

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.

Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.

By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend science/technical texts in the grades 11—CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.

Reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems.

Choose a level of accuracy appropriate to limitations on measurement when reporting quantities.

Interpret the structure of expressions

Use the structure of an expression to identify ways to rewrite it.

Solve equations and inequalities in one variable

Solve linear equations and inequalities in one variable, including equations with coefficients represented by letters.

Construct and compare linear, quadratic, and exponential models and solve problems

Distinguish between situations that can be modeled with linear functions and with exponential functions.

Recognize situations in which one quantity changes at a constant rate per unit interval relative to another.

Interpret expressions for functions in terms of the situation they model

Interpret the parameters in a linear or exponential function in terms of a context.

Summarize, represent, and interpret data on a single count or measurement variable

Use the mean and standard deviation of a data set to fit it to a normal distribution and to estimate population percentages. Recognize that there are data sets for which such a procedure is not appropriate. Use calculators, spreadsheets, and tables to estimate areas under the normal curve.