Solar Roadways

solar roadways

Revolutionary roads which stay snow-free, claim developers. A click of a switch they can transform the road into a car park or even sports pitches. In this activity students consider whether solar roadways are worth funding. They critique claims using reasoning and evidence, and apply what they know about generating electricity in solar cells, to make a decision.

Learning objective

  • Critique claims, using reasoning, evidence and scientific knowledge of how light waves generate electricity in solar cells.

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Curriculum link

England National Curriculum KS3:

  • Working Scientifically:  Pay attention to objectivity…
  • Physics: Light transferring energy from source to absorber leading to … electrical effects

GCSE Combined Science subject content:

  • Working Scientifically:  Development of scientific thinking: make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments
  • Physics: Energy: Renewable energy sources used on Earth; Wave motion: waves transferring energy

Running the activity

Dilemma View video on solar roadways. Are they worth funding?

Science and Decision Students identify video claims and study evidence to decide whether each claim is supported by evidence
Plenary Communicating the decision: are solar roadways worth funding?

For detailed running notes, download the teachers guide.


Solar Freakin’ Roadways

Another website where you can view the fundraising video for the crowd funding web site.

Further information

A longer video suitable for teachers only. It outlines the arguments against the claims.

Solar cycle path

News report about a solar cycle path that has recently opened in the Netherlands.

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  • dclay says:


    Great resource as an end of term lesson when I didn’t want to start a new topic as my class would forget everything

  • mberry says:

    Used with GCSE group for Extended Writing

    I used the Solar Roadways activity with GCSE group working on AQA A Core Science. I used it to develop students writing and in particular, being able to write balanced arguments using evidence. Because it has been so well designed and there is real data to look at, students found the activity engaging and it helped them to develop evaluation skills and extended writing using persuasive langauge and evidence. I think the Engage activities are an excellent resource and one that can be used with KS3 and KS4.