SCHOTT Solar brings solar power into the classroom

The sun is coming into the classroom: Soon, schools all over Germany will be able to carry out practical experiments on solar energy, with the help of SCHOTT Solar’s experimental suitcase. The experiment set will make its public debut at the annual conference of the German Association for the Promotion of Mathematics and Science Teaching (MNU e.V.) in Mainz.

Solar energy is increasing in significance as an issue across the globe. In view of the need to create a sustainable future, it makes a great deal of sense to give young people an early introduction to renewable energies. For this reason, SCHOTT Solar places central importance on raising young people’s interest in science and technology, and encourages schools to incorporate experiments with solar energy into the school curriculum. With the experimental suitcase which will be presented to the public at the MNU conference, the solar manufacturer intends to give school students an insight into the technologies behind the generation of solar energy. SCHOTT Solar subsidises the purchase of the suitcase by schools.

The experimental suitcase

The suitcase contains several small solar modules, lighting units, components for a range of experiments and additional information in the instructions for teachers and students. The suitcase additionally contains a CD with which virtual experiments can be conducted on the computer. “The response to the experimental suitcase has been, and is, very positive”, explains Andreas Pysik, a physics teacher at the Gonsenheim academic secondary school in Mainz, who created a series of six lessons using the equipment in the suitcase. “The students are more active than when doing conventional teacher-centred lessons, and work with great concentration and take the work very seriously. Sometimes there are little eureka moments, such as when a student discovers: Oh yes, it works like a battery!”

SCHOTT Solar originally developed the experimental suitcase for trainee electricians, in cooperation with their educational partner leXsolar. Its second version, adapted for physics teaching at secondary schools, contains more visually engaging experiments, such as one in which weights are lifted with the aid of an electric motor by the energy emerging from the solar modules. Teachers can use the suitcase and its supplementary materials without any particular induction or training.

The SCHOTT Solar experimental suitcase will be available from July, and can be pre-ordered from mid-April here: