New Mexico Solar 
Energy Association


Summary of NMSEA Solar Energy Curricula/Projects

Also see our Summary of Educational Programs/Resources

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Suggested Curriculum Sequences

  1. Decide if you want to request a visit from the SunChaser2 or ask for a presentation involving a demonstration exhibit. If you're hosting a SunChaser2 visit, we suggest that the visit occurs before the students do any solar projects. A SunChaser2 visit should not be considered as a substitute for classroom instruction, rather, its a chance to augment this instruction with hands on interaction with exciting renewable energy technology.

  2. Read/skim the Primer From Oil Wells to Solar Cells. This provides a solid background on energy issues and renewable energy, and can be used later as a resource.

  3. Read/skim the first six sections of the Energy Concepts PrimerThis provides a solid appreciation of basic energy concepts.

  4. Host a SunChaser2 visit OR follow the presentation sequences outlined in the first three sections of the  SunChaser2 Energy Pathways Curriculum. This will begin to address basic questions including:

    • What are the different types of energy? 

    • Where does energy come from?

    • How is energy transported? 

    • How does energy flow through the environment?

    • What are the pollution effects of energy production and usage?

  5. Having laid a solid background, now pick one or more of the projects below, for example, for young students (grades 3-6) a good sequence is:

    1. Let's Study the Sun! 

    2. Introduction to the Interaction of Light with Matter

    3. Make a pizza box solar oven

    4. Simple Solar Cell Demonstration

    For older students (grades 7-12), a good sequence is:

    1. Introduction to dc Electricity

    2. Simple Solar Cell Demonstration

    3. Explore Passive Solar Design

    4. Explore Photovoltaics

    5. Electrolysis: Obtaining hydrogen from water: The Basis for a Solar-Hydrogen Economy
    6. Explore Fuel Cells
    7. Introduction to the Interaction of Light with Matter
    8. Experiment with a Passive Solar Design Laboratory

    Happy Learning!

Teacher Primers 

Demonstration Exhibits

NMSEA has a powerful and growing collection of demonstration exhibits and skilled individuals that we are happy to bring to schools in New Mexico, time and resources allowing. There is no charge.  

Non-NMSEA Educational Resources

SunChaser2 Related Curricula

  • SunChaser2 Energy Pathways Curriculum

    • The curriculum followed by our instructors during SunChaser visits. Students are led to understand the flow of energy through their world along various pathways.

Classroom Curricula/Projects

About our Sun: 

  • Let's Study the Sun! 
    • All ages
    • Includes two projects:
      • Let's Observe the Sun
      • Sing a Solar Song
    • Includes necessary background information about the Sun

Energy Basics:

  • What is Energy?
    • This section of our Energy Pathways Curriculum can be presented in the classroom
  • Explore the Solar Resource
    • Calculate how much land area is needed to solar power the United States (upper high school levels)


  • The Biological Energy Pathway
    • This classroom presentable section of our Energy Pathways Curriculum introduces students to how energy flows in the nature, and also to the fact that they are solar powered. 
  • The Fossil Fuel Energy Pathway
    • This classroom presentable section of our Energy Pathways Curriculum introduces students to how fossil fuel sources of energy are really a form of solar energy. Pollution problems are also introduced (a picture of a power plant and global warming data are included).

Passive Solar Design

Solar Electricity:

Solar Thermal:

General Energy Awareness:

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 High-School/College Level Course Outlines