FOSS Module Summary

Module Summary – Solar Energy (2nd Ed.)


The Solar Energy Module consists of four investigations that allow students to experience solar energy firsthand and to investigate the variables that affect solar-energy transfer.


  • Become aware of the potential of solar energy, an inexhaustible source, as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, a nonrenewable source.
  • Observe differences in size and position of shadows as a result of the relative positions of Earth and the Sun.
  • Gain experience using a compass to orient objects on Earth.
  • Become proficient in using a thermometer to monitor temperature change in a variety of materials.
  • Observe solar-energy transfer in a variety of situations.
  • Relate the rate and amount of temperature change to variables involved in energy transfer.
  • Design solar water heaters and passive solar space heaters.
  • Apply mathematics in the context of science.
  • Acquire vocabulary associated with solar energy and energy transfer.
  • Use scientific thinking processes to conduct investigations and build explanations: observing, communicating, comparing, organizing, and relating.

For a description of each investigation in the Solar Energy Module and the correlations to the National Science Education Standards, download the Module Overview PDF.

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