Featured in PASCO’s College Environmental Science Instructor Guide

College Environmental Science Instructor Guide

(PS-3809A)

College Instructor edition with experiments covering introductory and general environmental science topics.

Insolation & the Seasons

Lab Summary

Use a stainless steel temperature sensor to measure the temperature of a solar panel positioned at different angles relative to the sun in order to determine how the earth's tilt and rotation around the sun is related to climate and the seasons.

Theory

Students determine how the earth's tilt and rotation around the sun is related to climate and the seasons. To do this they:

  • Demonstrate the affect of changes in the angle of solar insolation on solar energy delivered to a given area.
  • Connect changes tilt to seasonal temperature variations.

Downloads

  • Sample Lab - Insolation and the Seasons (781 KB – PDF)
  • Method

    Students gain experience conducting the following procedures:

    • Constructing a solar energy collection panel and aligning it relative to the sun.
    • Measuring the relative amount of solar energy captured by monitoring temperatures of the solar panel when positioned at different angles relative to the sun.

    Materials Used:

    Black construction paper, 15 x 15 cm
    Cardboard, 15 x 15 cm 
    Drinking straw 
    Glue, bottle 
    Protractor 
    Scissors 
    Small Tripod Base and Rod 
    Tape - 1 roll
    Three-fingered clamp

    The Associated Bundle:

    College Environmental Science Sensor Bundle

    (PS-2930A)

    Contains the probeware needed to perform all 26 experiments in the College Environmental Science instructor guide.

    Interface Required

    This experiment may require software and an interface for data collection.