General Lab Information


Discovering Solar Panels

image of students engaged in lab activity

Students perform hands-on experiments to analyze  photovoltaic solar panel materials and panel positioning for optimal performance. They are introduced to research being conducted at Brookhaven Lab's Northeast Solar Energy Research Center (NSERC). 

Vocabulary: absorption, angle of incidence, current, milliamp (mA), multimeter, photovoltaic, radiation, reflections, transmission

Session Information: This activity is available in-person only.

In-Person Session Information
  • 1-hour session, times are flexible
  • One class per session, maximum 30 students per class
  • Can book mulitiple activities in one day
  • $400 per session (BOCES-aidable)

NYS Learning Standards

New York State Science Learning Standards

Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts Science and Engineering Practices

PS4.B: Electromagnetic Radiation

ESS1.B: Earth and the Solar System

Cause and Effect

Energy and Matter

Developing and Using Models

Planning and Carrying Out Investigations

Analyzing and Interpreting Data

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Next Generation English Language Arts Learning Standards

Speaking and Listening Language

Comprehension and Collaboration
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

Vocabulary Acquisition and Use

Intermediate Science Core

Process Skills

Major Understandings

Standard 4, 2 Safely and accurately use the following tool: metric ruler.

Standard 4, 3 Use appropriate units for measured or calculated values.

Standard 1, S2.1a Demonstrate appropriate safety techniques.

Standard 1, S2.1b Conduct an experiment design by others.

Standard 1, S2.1d Use appropriate tools and conventional techniques to solve problems about the natural world, including: measuring, observing, describing.

Standard 1, S3.2b Identify sources of error and the limitations of data collected.

Standard 1, S3.2c Evaluate the original hypothesis in light of the data.

Standard 6, 2.2 Use models to study processes that cannot be studied directly (e.g., when the real process is too slow, too fast, or too dangerous for direct observation).

1.1i The tilt of the Earth’s axis of rotation and the revolution of Earth around the sun cause seasons on Earth. The length of daylight varies depending on latitude and season.

4.1a The sun is a major source of energy for Earth. Other sources include nuclear and geothermal energy.

4.1d Different forms of energy include heat, light, electrical, mechanical, sound, nuclear, and chemical. Energy is transformed in many ways.

4.4b Light passes through some materials, sometimes refracting in the process. Materials absorb and reflect light, and may transmit light.

4.4e Electrical circuits provide a means of transferring energy.