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Material and Chemical Processing (Concentrated Solar) (4 Activities)

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Concentrated sunlight is a versatile and high-quality form of energy with several potential applications besides producing heat and electricity. Today, scientists are developing systems that use concentrated sunlight to detoxify hazardous wastes, to drive chemical reactions, and to treat materials for increased hardness and resistance to corrosion. The activities are:

  • Can sunlight break down different kinds of plastics?
  • Can hydrogen peroxide work with sunlight to break down dyes?
  • Can sunlight be used to clean up water?
  • Make a solar dehydrator.

Social Studies, Science

Plan Time

Varies by activity


Varies by activity


Science Content Standards: 5-8 CONTENT STANDARD A: Science As Inquiry

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry

CONTENT STANDARD B: Physical Science

  • Properties and change of Properties in matter
  • Transfer of energy

CONTENT STANDARD D: Earth and Space Science

  • Earth in the solar system

CONTENT STANDARD E: Science and Technology

  • Abilities of technological design
  • Understandings about science and technology

CONTENT STANDARD F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

  • Science and technology in society

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Lesson Plans/Activity