Regardless of age, everyone should learn about renewable solar energy so they can understand the details and make an informed decision regarding its use. That said, it can be a challenging topic for some newcomers to understand, especially for young learners who barely grasp all the ways electricity fuels their lives.
If you want to instill your child with this knowledge sooner than later, begin by reading our guide on how to teach kids about renewable solar energy. In doing so, you can ensure your students get all the details they need to comprehend the subject at an early age.
Start With the Energy Explanation
Simply put, if your child doesn’t understand what “energy” refers to in this context, explaining renewable solar energy will be needlessly more challenging. So, start your child’s lesson with a breakdown of electrical energy and why we use it every day.
Although some children might not understand references to the electrical grid or fossil fuels at first, you can ease them into the lesson by talking about electricity and how it relates to the devices your kids interact with, including TVs, phones, toys, games, microwaves, and beyond.
That way, your young learner will have a context of what energy means and why they should care. Then, you can move on to teaching the issues with electrical energy consumption.
Electrical Energy Hazards
Teaching the dangers of interacting with electricity is critical, but for this discussion, the hazards of electricity we’re detailing refer to sustainability instead of physical harm.
Specifically, you should make sure kids understand that specific sources of electricity rely on fossil fuels for production. Of course, global warming is a considerable discussion in itself, so if you want to keep the explanation brief, that’s understandable.
However, you should still make an effort to teach the basics of how greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production can hurt the world around us every day. Furthermore, what makes the “renewable” part of renewable solar energy production integral is sustainability.
Fossil fuels are finite, so they won’t always be around to provide us with electricity for everyday purposes. Although these can be daunting topics, you should still consider teaching kids about pollution. In doing so, you’ll successfully lay the groundwork for explaining the benefits of renewable energy.
Explain How Solar Power Helps
As you can see, renewable solar energy is a big subject, so having the proper context is critical. After the kids understand the finite nature of fossil fuels, you can explain to them that sustainable options exist. But, before getting into that subject, let’s address an integral part of this equation: the sun.
Understanding the Sun
There’s no wrong age to start weaving renewable energy into your child’s life. So, if you’re informing kids who don’t fully understand what solar energy is, take the time to break it down. Although explaining solar energy production can sound convoluted, simplifying it for kids without compromising key details is more attainable than you might expect.
The sun resides at the center of the solar system, giving off intense light and heat. Luckily, these are things a child can see for themselves; take them outside and show them the bright sun in the sky and the warmth around them because of its incoming rays. Once kids understand that the sun produces energy, they can more easily learn how to utilize it as a renewable resource.
The Sun & Sustainable Energy
Next, you can advance your lesson to explain why we grab the sun’s heat and light from the sky and turn it into energy. Suffice it to say, a lot of technology and science go into the process of harnessing solar power.
That said, young kids don’t have to know every detail about the process to begin their solar energy education. Instead, you can stick with the simple explanation that we have special devices capable of converting the sun’s energy into electricity: solar panels.
In other words, as long as the sun sits in space and provides the planet with immense heat and light, it gives solar panels a source of producing electricity all year long. Plus, solar panels don’t reduce the energy that the sun makes; they simply catch what the sun is sending their way, minimizing our reliance on less sustainable resources.
Show Them Examples
When planning how to teach kids about renewable solar energy, you should find a way to show them a solar panel system in person. For example, if you have friends or family with solar panel modules on their home, ask if you can stop by for a visit to educate a young newcomer.
By having a physical system to refer to right in front of you, you can break down the system’s individual components and how they weave into the home design. In addition, a physical reference opens the doors to diving into the technical details of the system when your child is ready. On the other hand, if you’re planning to install solar panels on your home, use the project as a learning experience for your young one.
Installing Solar Panels at Home
Teaching kids about renewable solar energy isn’t something you should rush overnight. Like any new subject, introducing your young ones to the information above is a gradual experience. Thus, your kids can better retain everything you’re teaching them, and if you make solar energy a regular part of their lives, they will continue learning over time.
The best way to make solar energy a part of your daily life is by installing solar panels at home. That way, you and your family can see how renewable solar energy works first-hand. It also gives your family time to become familiar with the system’s components.
For example, as a Tesla certified solar installer, we can set up residential solar panel systems that integrate a Tesla Powerwall into the design. As a result, homeowners can easily use a solar battery at home and teach their kids about how it works at an early age. Hopefully, that early education can turn into a fascination with renewable solar power innovations and technology for many years to come.