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Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Master's Report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences

Advisor 1

Emily A. Dare

Committee Member 1

John L. Irwin

Committee Member 2

Kedmon N. Hungwe


This paper explores the use of local solar array systems as a scaffold to teach Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) aligned curriculum. As a part of the degree requirements for an MS in Applied Science Education through Michigan Technological University, an internship was completed with Sky Solar Company*. It became apparent that most of the science associated with the solar systems would be appropriate for high school level physics courses. A two-week curriculum unit incorporating the NGSS with solar array systems was created in collaboration with the science department at Covington High School*. The paper aims to explore how the curriculum unit impacts student achievement as well as student and teacher perceptions to the curriculum unit. The main findings from this study reveal that while the associated NGSS-aligned curriculum unit positively impacted student achievement, connecting the material to areas outside of the classroom is of significant importance. This study shows that the use of real life experiences and community engagement within the curriculum unit improves student interest and understanding, and reveals the need to incorporate more real world experiences into science courses.

* Note: In this document, all names have been changed and assigned pseudonyms to protect anonymity.