Solar Mobile

Exploring Center of Gravity

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Since the concept Center of Gravity (mass) is a key factor in a mobile, students will participate in some activities to help them experience and understand this principle so it can be applied to their final Solar Mobile design. This lesson starts with a...

Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will observe a discrepant event and write down questions about what they observed. Students will participate in a variety of activities using a meter stick in order to experience and learn about center of gravity.Students will find the center of gravity of an irregular shaped paper object by using a plumb line. Students will apply the concept of Center of Gravity and find the center of their solar aircraft that is to be used on their solar mobile. 
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Design a 50 Year Energy Plan

Scaling up to Power Production: Let’s Engineer a Wind Turbine

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

After working through Lessons 1 and 2 of this Unit, students are now familiar with the physics of how generators work. The next step in Lesson 3 is to investigate how existing power generation systems operate and supply electricity to entire geographic...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Design, build, and refine a wind turbine in order to effectively and efficiently convert motion into mechanical energy and then into electrical energy 
Author:
Bradford Hill
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours

Build Solar Cars

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will build their solar vehicles. There are many options for them to do this, depending on the specific variables hoping to be tested following the construction and material-selection process. Students will be given the opportunity to try out...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will construct a geared solar car, a pulley-system solar car, or both. Students will make verbal predictions about the outcomes and viabilities of different types of solar cars. Students will pinpoint the independent, dependent, and control variables in their solar car testing process.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
 Foil Barge

What is Force?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will build a barge out of tin foil and describe the forces acting it. The barge itself is designed only with the constraints that passengers within the barge will not get wet, allowing for students to experiment with different shapes and...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify the Laws of Motion and learn about the forces acting on the system. There are multiple forces acting on a boat, some of these forces include, acceleration, friction, gravity and thrust.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Basic Stamp Microprocessor

Creating a Light-Tracking Servo

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will learn how to program the Basic Stamp to use information from two photoresistors to point a servo at a light source. This will be the first degree of freedom for the flower head.

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will synthesize the previous lesson for light metering and servo control to design a servo controlled by two photoresistors that will track a light source.
Author:
Pat Blount
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
WindMaterials_DSCN2143.jpg

Wind Power: A Hands on Experience

Grades:
3-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

This lesson challenges students to work in teams to design successful turbine blades for the “KidWind Firefly”. The firefly has an LED light that lights up when the students have designed turbine blades that spin effectively. This lesson provides students...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand that wind energy can be converted into other forms of energy.Students will determine different methods to increase the effectiveness of a wind turbine blade at harnessing and converting the mechanical energy of the wind.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Wave Attenuator

Testing a Tidal Wave Attenuator

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will test the efficiency of the tidal wave attenuator models that they previously built. They will determine variables on their models they can manipulate, such as wire gauge and magnet strength, and measure the effects of manipulating this...

Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator). 2. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators. 3. Students will communicate results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of a wave attenuator.
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Solar Car Student

Solar Car Challenge: Background Research on Car Design

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Students will play around with the solar car kits to familiarize themselves with the materials in preparation for the solar car engineering challenge.

Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
To introduce students to the problem that this project will attempt to solve: building a solar car that will go straight, far, and fast to win a race.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Karen Nelson
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Wort Chiller

Bioreactor Water Circulation System

Grades:
7-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

Solar energy is available when the sun shines but energy can be supplemented at night by the decomposition energy in a bioreactor. In this activity we will experiment with the feasibility of using heated water in a bioreactor to circulate it through a...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will examine the properties of solar water pumping systems using KidWind solar water pumps or similar water pumps. 2. Students will experiment with the properties of water and its limitations in circulating due to pump power and distance. 3. Students will evaluate the use of a heat sink/chiller in the circulation of water through the bioreactor.
Author:
Tami Church
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Creating the Most Effective Solar Heater

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
3
Description:

This part can be staged as a competition or simply a personal challenge to beat the standard solar heater created in part 1. During this stage of the lesson students are asked to analyze data and results from part 2 and identify which characteristics of a...

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