State Electricity on Google Earth: How many solar panels would it take?

In this activity, students calculate electricity use by state and determine, using Google Earth, how much land would be required to replace all sources of electricity with solar panels.

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Todd Greene California State University-Chico
Billy Goodman Passaic Valley High School
Maureen Padden McMaster University
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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This activity presents a basic outline for a class project using Google Earth. Activity should be preceded by a lesson on how to use Google Earth in a scientific context to provide students with the basic skills needed to use this tool.

Educator will need to provide handouts and complete instructions.

The instructor can provide information on solar panel costs and/or state population, to expedite the lesson, or have students research this information.