MIDLAND — Dow Corning, a developer and manufacturer of the silicon-based materials used in many renewable energy technologies, is introducing a new middle school curriculum focused on solar energy.
The curriculum was developed in partnership with the Earth Day Network, the American Chemistry Society and the National Education Association. It introduces students in grades 5-8 to the principles and potential of renewable energy by showcasing solar power and energy efficiency innovations.
“Solar energy is being used today throughout the globe, and it is essential that students begin to understand where the energy comes from that turns on the lights, powers their computers, and keeps their refrigerator cold,” said Dow Corning president and CEO Robert D. Hansen. “Knowledge of this technology will help inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and manufacturers that will pioneer new clean energy solutions.”
The curriculum consists of four comprehensive lesson plans that adhere to national standards of learning and were created by EDN with input from Dow Corning, NEA, ACS and the United States Department of Energy. Each of the four lesson plans is designed to cover two or three class periods, but individual teachers can use their discretion in extending the length of time devoted to individual plans, and the components within each.
The four lesson plans are:
* Solar Energy Introduction and Overview
* How Solar Panels Work
* Solar Panels – A Life Story
* Solar Power and Me: The Inherent Advantages
The curriculum is available for download online. Elements of the curriculum will be featured in the Student Welcome & Education Center at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, in which Dow Corning is a sustaining sponsor. The event will take place Sept. 23 – Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C. The curriculum will also be available by visiting the Solar Decathlon 2011 and NEA Web sites.
The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.
Previous Solar Decathlons were held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Dow Corning sponsored electronic scoreboards that provided daily results to event spectators on the National Mall in 2009.
A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning is applying more than 65 years of experience to bring innovation and efficiencies to the silicon-based materials that are ideal for solar applications, including silicon-based materials for next-generation solar cells, protective coatings for solar cells, high-performance silicone encapsulants, adhesives, and sealants. Dow Corning is also the majority shareholder in the Hemlock Semiconductor Group joint ventures, which includes Hemlock Semiconductor Corp. and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon.
In the past six years, Dow Corning and the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $5 billion to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.
For more information, visit www.dowcorning.com/solardecathlon.
Dow Corning provides more than 7,000 products and services to more than 25,000 customers worldwide. The company is equally owned by Midland-based Dow Chemical Co. and New York’s Corning, Inc.