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Honors Physics I 

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Working Title of the Project:  Solar Cell Science
Funding Source:  Toshiba America Foundation
Rationale for the Project:  Solar cell technology has been prevalent for many years, however, research is focusing on alternative energy sources.  The in-depth understanding of solar energy is, yet, another bridge for students to link classical physics to modern physics.
Goals for the Project:  Students will study the effect of angle, intensity, color, on the efficiency of harnessing solar energy.  Students will perform research into current efforts to vastly improve solar energy capture.
Non-technical Explanation of Project: 
The students will measure how much voltage is produced by a solar panel, illuminated by different wavelengths of light from a fixed source.  They will determine the optimum wavelength to maximize voltage potential from the panel.
Location(s) of Project:  Great Valley School District, Great Valley High School, Malvern, PA 19355 and Downingtown Area School District, Downingtown High School, East Campus, Exton, PA 19341
Project Timeframe:  2009-2010 Academic Year
Planned Activities:
•    Students will research solar energy capture, as it is currently used in the     Philadelphia metropolitan area
•    Students will study the photoelectric effect, followed by an analysis of its usefulness in a photovoltaic cell
•    Students will conduct a laboratory study that examines the properties of incident light, i.e. angle of incidence, intensity, and color—and how they affect resulting current
•    Students will create a website that documents project findings
Key Staff Names and Responsibilities:  Matthew Watson, GVHS; Ernest Schwenk, DEHS, Project Directors
Any Hires Needed:  None
Leveraging/Cost-sharing Possibilities:  The District is providing color filters and solar panels
Budget Elements: 

(8) Pasco Ocean Optics Red Tide Spectrometers  @ 8 * $1303 = $10,424
Professional Evaluator = $1000
10% Intangibles = $1,042
Ballpark Budget Estimate:  $12,500
Evaluation Plan:  Hire a professional evaluator
Outside Partners:  None
Plan for Sustainability:  Program will sustain itself for five subsequent years
Other Possible Sources for Funding:  None