Teaching science using dye-sensitized solar cells kit

Thomas Neil Dempsey, M. Raymond Ng, Zachary Rhodes, Jiawei Gong, Faisal Aqlan

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


In this paper, we discuss the working principles of dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) and how to use DSSCs kit to teach science. Three high school teachers were trained to fabricate DSSCs as part of an ongoing NSF RET program. The materials and equipment used for producing DSSCs are basic, and a standard procedure was formulated for the work to be replicated in a regular classroom. DSSCs were constructed using fruit juices from blackberry, raspberry, mulberry, blueberry, and strawberry. The absorption spectra of fruit dyes, along with food dyes, were examined in contrast to the solar spectrum. Teachers demonstrate the working principle of DSSCs and integrate hands-on activities into the K-12 curriculum. As the outcome, students should be able to (1) explain how a dye-sensitized solar cell converts sunlight into electricity; (2) design and build a dye-sensitized solar cell from basic components; (3) maximize efficiency of their solar cells using various fruit dyes; and (4) measure the voltage and current output of DSSCs in comparison with silicon solar cells. Data collected from implementing the developed curriculum in high school classrooms is discussed and plans of both formative and summative assessment are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1322
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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