STEAM Activity: Harness The Power of The Sun!


Capture the energy of the sun and do something really cool with it! Design your own light up projects - all powered with renewable energy captured by solar panels.

The People’s Climate March is coming up this Friday, September 20th! Well over 100,000 people will be filling the streets of New York City to bring the people’s voice to the UN Climate Summit happening on September 23rd.  You can, of course, join the march and also engage in important discussions around clean energy by harnessing the sun’s energy! 

Here is to GIANT Kids who dream of a greener planet, and dare to join forces in taking care of our home - one small step at a time. 


Challenge: Light It Up…with Solar Panels!
Recommended for Ages: 3 to 12 years old

Materials You’ll Need: 

  • Solar Panel Module(s) 

  • LEDs 

  • Arts and crafts materials including recycled materials such as bottles, boxes, cardboards, duct tape, markers, you name it!


Build Your Circuit:

Like any other battery, solar panels have a positive and negative terminal. The positive (+) terminal is marked with red and the negative (-) one is marked with black. Connect the positive terminal to the long side of your LED and the shorter side of your LED to the negative terminal and VOILA! You just lit up an LED with green energy!!

Now, try to connect more LEDs to your solar panel. Connect all the long sides to the positive terminal and all short sides to the negative terminal. 

Question: How many LEDs could you light up with a single solar panel?

Now, build something with your materials and make it light up with your solar panel! 

That’s it! As simple as that you can now build projects with green energy instead of using batteries. Better for our planet, and much more cost effective! 


Take It One Step Further:

You can connect multiple solar panels in series and parallel to add up voltage and current, and perhaps light up a whole string of LEDs!

To connect solar panels in series, connect the positive terminal of one panel to the negative terminal of another, all in series. This way you add up their voltages.  

To connect solar panels in parallel, connect positive terminals of multiple panels together, and their negative terminals together. This way you add up the current they produce. 

To increase both voltage and current, connect multiple solar panels in series and then connect the groups in parallel! 

Sky is the limit! Go GIANT with your solar powered inventions and be sure to share your projects with us using #STEAMGIANTGuide