Dow Corning Introduces Solar Curriculum for Middle School Students

Dow Corning, a global researcher, developer and manufacturer of the silicon-based materials used in many renewable energy technologies, is introducing a new middle school curriculum focused on solar energy. The curriculum was developed in partnership with the Earth Day Network (EDN), the American Chemistry Society (ACS) and National Education Association (NEA), and introduces students in grades 5-8 to the principles and potential of renewable energy by showcasing solar power and energy efficiency innovations.

“Solar energy is being used today throughout the globe, and it is essential that students begin to understand where the energy comes from that turns on the lights, powers their computers, and keeps their refrigerator cold,” said Dow Corning President and CEO Robert D. Hansen. “Knowledge of this technology will help inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and manufacturers that will pioneer new clean energy solutions.”

The curriculum consists of four comprehensive lesson plans that adhere to national standards of learning and were created by EDN with input from Dow Corning, NEA, ACS and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Each of the four lesson plans is designed to cover two or three class periods, but individual teachers can use their discretion in extending the length of time devoted to individual plans, and the components within each.

The four lesson plans are:

  • Solar Energy Introduction and Overview
  • How Solar Panels Work
  • Solar Panels – A Life Story
  • Solar Power and Me: The Inherent Advantages

The curriculum is available for download online. Elements of the curriculum will be featured in the Student Welcome & Education Center at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon 2011, in which Dow Corning is a sustaining sponsor. The event will take place Sept. 23 – Oct. 2, in Washington, D.C. The curriculum will also be available by visiting the Solar Decathlon 2011 and NEA web sites

The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

Previous Solar Decathlons were held in 2002, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Dow Corning sponsored electronic scoreboards that provided daily results to event spectators on the National Mall in 2009.

A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning is applying more than 65 years of experience to bring innovation and efficiencies to the silicon-based materials that are ideal for solar applications, including silicon-based materials for next-generation solar cells, protective coatings for solar cells, high-performance silicone encapsulants, adhesives, and sealants. Dow Corning is also the majority shareholder in the Hemlock Semiconductor Group joint ventures, which includes Hemlock Semiconductor Corporation and Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon.

In the past six years, Dow Corning and the Hemlock Semiconductor Group have announced investments of more than $5 billion to research and develop as well as to expand production of materials critical to the solar industry.

For more information, visit dowcorning.com/solardecathlon.

Follow Dow Corning on Twitter: @dowcorning
Follow Hemlock Semiconductor Group on Twitter: @hscpoly
Follow the Solar Decathlon on Twitter: @solar_decathlon and join the discussion #SD2011
Follow U.S. Department of Energy on Twitter: @ENERGY

On Friday, Sept. 23, Dow Corning will be hosting a solar chat online via Twitter. The conversation will take place from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., with a Dow Corning representative moderating discussions about solar energy and sustainable building. Join the dialogue and ask a question in advance on Twitter: #DCSolarChat

About Dow Corning
Dow Corning (dowcorning.com) provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicones, silicon-based technology and innovation, Dow Corning offers more than 7,000 products and services via the company’s Dow Corning® and XIAMETER® brands. Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning’s annual sales are outside the United States. Dow Corning’s global operations adhere to the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care® initiative, a stringent set of standards designed to advance the safe and secure management of chemical products and processes.

Visit Dow Corning’s YouTube channel: youtube.com/dowcorningcorp

About Hemlock Semiconductor Group
Hemlock Semiconductor Group (hscpoly.com) consists of several joint venture companies owned by Dow Corning Corporation, Shin-Etsu Handotai and Mitsubishi Materials Corporation. Hemlock Semiconductor is a leading provider of polycrystalline silicon and other silicon-based products used in the manufacturing of semiconductor devices and solar cells and modules. Hemlock Semiconductor began its operations in 1961.

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