The Solar Energy Awareness & Action [SEAA] Comenius 1 project aims to establish a partnership of 5 schools from five European countries in order to make children aware about aspects of solar energy, its uses and applications. A thematic approach to solar energy is planned to include or even interweave formal, non-formal and informal teaching and learning approaches, such as investigations and hands-on activities within a formal education context, but also within a free-choice learning environment involving outside classroom activities (e.g. on site visits and science fairs). Shared project activities will be undertaken jointly by groups of children in each school, allowing pupils to learn from the experience of working with pupils from other countries contributing to each other’s learning.
On the conceptual level the project may indicatively deal with issues like “energy from the sun” “heat and light from the sun”, “the greenhouse effect”, “solar water heating” “electricity from the sun” (photovoltaic cells) “energy change”, “energy saving” etc. Regarding the construction of projects related to hands-on experiments and activities, there are several alternatives such as: solar water heaters, solar cookers, solar toys with photovoltaic cells and motors, but also models of green houses, solar homes etc. Moreover, social, environmental and ecological issues will be raised and discussed in class, mainly concerning the energy crisis within a sustainable development framework, policies in the use and application of solar energy, cultural factors that encourage or resist the spread of solar energy applications and so on.
The pupils will be encouraged to participate in the European Contest of Ideas for Science Fairs organized by the European Comenius 3 Network “Hands-on Science”. The participants will become Associated Members of the Hands-on Science Network and the activities of this project enrol in the activities of the Network.