Solar spark

Make your own solar cells, explore the impact of solar energy on society and hear from the scientists developing the solar technology with this collection of resources from The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh.

  • A silver coloured metal sheet and bronze coloured metal sheet with hands placed on them to perform the experiment

    Hand battery

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Complete a circuit by placing your hands on two metal plate electrodes.

  • Electrode set-up to anodise titanium in a beaker with red crocodile clip holding titanium and black crocodile clip holding wire in an electrolyte solution

    Anodising titanium

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Explore how the colour of titanium metal covered with titanium dioxide varies with the thickness of titanium dioxide. 

  • Depiction of a solar cell powering a music player

    Solar technology

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Find out about the kind of solar cells we use and how they are made with videos from The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh.

  • Scientist in a lab showing a model of a conducting polymer

    Faces of Chemistry: solarcasts

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Find out more about ground-breaking solar technology in this series of interviews with researchers from The Solar Spark.

  • Outline of India in colours of flag with wind turbines and solar panels on top

    The impact of solar power

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Think about the benefits of solar power and the impact it can have on people’s lives.

  • Green laser shone through tumbler glasses that reflect the light

    The Tyndall effect

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Demonstrate light scattering with just two jars of water and some milk.

  • Solar cell connected in a circuit to small LED lights and a switch

    Solar cells and circuits

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Explore how to set up an electrical circuit containing solar cells and how connecting them in different ways will produce different results.

  • Visible light spectrum from red to blue on black background

    Make your own spectroscope

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Make a “rainbow in a box” using card and a CD.

  • Image

    Make a Grtäzel cell

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Make a dye sensitised solar cell using household items such as raspberries.

  • lots of colourful stripy paper straws in a jar

    Solar cell in a drinking straw

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Capture electricity from sunlight using raspberry juice and drinking straws.

  • Solar battery on white background

    Solar cells and absorption

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Explore the relationship between light and absorption in solar cells. 

  • Spectrum of colour showing blue on the left changing to green on the right

    Mixing colours

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Demonstrate how putting different colours together combine to give the full picture.

  • Sun in blue sky

    Energy Card Sort

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Sort solar energy themed cards into groups and work out the connections between those in the group. 

  • Spinach in a mortar with pestle on side

    Chlorophyll fluorescence

    In association with The Solar Spark at the University of Edinburgh

    Make a plant fluoresce by simply crushing it and shining a light on it.