Our SunSmart Teachers

FSEC Energy Education program manager, Susan Schleith, assists students with learning how photovoltaic panels work.

Through the SunSmart E-Shelter program’s education and outreach efforts, more than 350 Florida teachers received professional development in the science and use of photovoltaics. A companion, inquiry-based curriculum rich in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) content was designed for students to explore:

  • how photovoltaics work;
  • what impact the system has on their school;
  • other alternative energy sources;
  • how to prepare for disasters;
  • relationships between energy and the environment, history, geography, economics, and the arts.

The curriculum encourages best-teaching practices through project-based learning that enables students to solve problems using critical thinking and data analysis.  In addition to the curriculum, each school received a kit of instruments that allow students hands-on opportunities for learning, turning ordinary classrooms into mini-photovoltaic laboratories. View sample data of a typical solar system on a Florida school.

Photovoltaics are the ideal vehicle to spark student’s imaginations and encourage exploration of other energy and environmental topics. As one student remarked, “PV is like magic, turning sunlight into electricity” and his team mate replied “It may look like magic but it is science!”

Students learn about solar energy by looking at an electric meter that is next to a solar electric array.


Solar Energy
The purpose of this unit is to create an awareness of the power of solar energy, the importance of it in our lives, and its impact on the future of energy development

Solar Matters IK – 2
Solar Matters II3 – 5
Solar Matters III6 – 8
Understanding Solar Energy9 – 12

Learn about the science and safety behind hydrogen and how it impacts our lives today and where it may go in the future.

High Energy Hydrogen I3 – 5
High Energy Hydrogen II6 – 8
High Energy Hydrogen III9 – 12

Take a look at all of the curriculum FSEC has to offer here!

Professional Development Workshops

The Education team at FSEC frequently holds professional development workshops for teachers to learn more about our programs and to assist in teaching the curriculum. For more information or to register for a Professional Development Workshop, click here!