Solar Energy Lessons for Middle School Students

Three lessons in solar energy were developed and taught by Haberer and her collaborators Ing (UCR GSoE), Ward (Mira Loma Middle School), and LaCombe, Martinez, Huang (UCR undergraduate students). The first lesson was an overview of solar energy through a lecture and whole-class discussion. The lecture showed pictures of solar cells being used for different purposes in the school parking lot, neighborhood surrounding the middle school, and locations around the world. In addition, the lecture related semiconductors, the very specialized materials from which most solar cells are made, to students' knowledge about the periodic table. This overview was followed by two activities designed to address students' conceptions of the angle of the Sun in relation to the solar cell and the amount of solar energy produced at different temperatures. The lessons were followed by students designing and redesigning a model solar car and culminated in a model-solar-car race.

  1. M. Ing, M. Ward, E. D. Haberer, Science Scope, 36, 21 (2013)
  2. M. Ing, P. Huang, N. LaCombe, Y. Martinez, E. D. Haberer, ASQ Adv. STEM Agend. Educ. Conf. (2011)

Undergraduate Service-Learning Course

Haberer developed and co-taught a service-learning course entitled HNPG098I: Inspiring Young Scientists with Solar Energy with Ing which targeted future math and science teachers, as well as scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. Offered through the UCR Honors Program and UnderGraduate Research in the Community Program, the course provided students with content knowledge on solar energy and formative assessment instructional strategies. The class centered on the implementation of 3 solar cell lessons in an eighth grade classroom at Mira Loma Middle School.

  1. M. Ing, P. Huang, N. LaCombe, Y. Martinez-Lopez, E. D. Haberer, Int. J. Serv. Learn. Engin. 7, 53 (2012)

Other Activities

As a postdoctoral researcher at UCSB, Haberer presented A Brief Introduction to Materials Science and Engineering to participants of the UCSB Models and Materials professional development program for art and science teachers.

As a Ph. D. student at UCSB, Haberer was the Lead Mentor (3 yrs) and the Program Coordinator (1 yr) of the Apprentice Researchers Program, a 6-week summer intern program for high school students. As such, she served as a science and engineering mentor and role model for nearly 50 high school students (see program statistics). Interacting with the students daily, she led discussions in lab notebook techniques, experimental design, data analysis, research lab culture, ethics, science and engineering stereotypes, and graduate studies, as well as teaching a short laboratory course on semiconductor microfabrication.

Haberer also mentored undergraduate researcher, Sandra Garcia, and high school teacher, Melissa Woods, through National Science Foundation research experience programs while earning her Ph. D. from UCSB.