The Sky’s the Limit: Solar Energy Project Toolkit

photo of the sun shining in the skyThe Sky’s the Limit 4-H Science curriculum was created to increase awareness and scientific literacy about solar energy. Activities in this toolkit use engineering design principles to develop an understanding of solar energy. Participants will become familiar with the how and why of using solar energy. The activities focus on the transfer of energy, circuits, capturing solar energy, and engineering design. Lessons scaffold from the basic understanding of circuits and include building design challenges such as building a solar oven, constructing a solar-powered boat, and exploring elements that impact solar cars. 

The activities are designed for middle school students (Grades 6-8), but may be adapted for other-age learners. These lessons require access to direct sunlight or a high-power spotlight.

If you need assistance with these activities please email us:  

To reserve this toolkit, and find out what additional toolkits are available, visit the 4-H STEM Toolkits home page.

DOWNLOAD AND PRINT: Introduction: The Sky’s the Limit: Solar Energy Project Toolkit (PDF)


This 4-H Science toolkit was created for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with generous support from RLC Engineering and the Maine 4-H Foundation

The activities in this curriculum were developed or adapted by Danielle O’Neill, UMaine Cooperative Extension, Sarah Sparks, UMaine Cooperative Extension, and José Donnell, Mechanical Engineer, RLC Engineering.

Internal Reviewers from University of Maine Cooperative Extension: Greg Kranich, Laura Wilson, Sara Conant, Vanessa Klein.

Additional Guidance and  Support:

  • Rick Conant, RLC Engineering
  • José Donnell, RLC Engineering
  • Tracey Ferwerda, Publications Manager, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
  • Danielle O’Neill, University of Maine
  • Michelle Snowden, Web Professional, University of Maine Cooperative Extension 
  • Peter Zack, Founder, Maine Junior Solar Sprint

Maine 4-H Foundation logo RLC Engineering logo

Special thanks to the staff at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Bryant Pond 4-H Camp and Learning Center for their contributions of activity and lesson ideas.