Teachers should read the entire sequence of activities first, before starting the lab. Explain to the class the topic that will be covered in this unit of study. Teachers can include statements from the teacher background information section. Have students consider the following quote:
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
Computers were initially costly and cumbersome. However, now almost everyone has access to or owns a computer. Photovoltaic systems were initially costly and cumbersome, but now? They are being used as a clean source of energy. Discuss with the class what they know about PV systems and their possibilities for use in and around the home and community. Each student will need a copy of the Reading Passage and the Student Data Sheets (includes reading comprehension questions, vocabulary words and Lab Activity). Instruct students to study the Reading Passage, "Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems," and complete the questions and vocabulary. This activity will help them learn about PV systems and some of their applications. Key vocabulary words in the Reading Passage will assist them in understanding the Lab Activity instructions. For students who wish to learn more of the detailed physics principles behind the operation of PV cells and other solid state devices, direct them to the appropriate resources. The suggested Resource Guide is http://www.rnp.org/RenewTech/tech_solar.html. Appropriate safety guidelines should also be reviewed.