Solar Car Student

Solar Car Challenge: Develop Your Solution

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
5
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

Using Multiple Solar Modules

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Students first explore with 0.5 Volt solar cells to see whether adding cells to a circuit increases the amount of water pumped by a small pump. They are introduced to parallel and series wiring. They then design and carry out a formal experiment to test...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will apply scientific ideas to design and test a solar powered water pump that moves water at the fastest rate. Students will experiment and build understanding of parallel and series wiring and how energy moves in these circuits. Students will record data accurately into a table.
Author:
Leah Gorman
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Solar Mobile

Solar Mobile Design Challenge - Construction

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

This is the culminating hands-on project for the Solar Mobile Design Challenge Lessons, with construction aligned to an engineering design process. Students start by Restating the Design Problem that was introduced to them in the beginning of the Unit....

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Learning Goal(s):
Students brainstorm ideas and share with their group.Students draw and label Solar Mobile designs in Engineering Notebooks. Students research an aircraft to trace (if this was not accomplished in the Center of Gravity lesson) and trace the aircraft outline onto foam board. Students construct a solar circuit to power motors and propellers on a foam board aircraft and test multiple times before adding to the solar mobile stand. Students construct solar mobile stand and add their aircraft to a dowel attached to the central hub. Students work with a partner to balance each aircraft onto the mobile. Students test the mobile speed outside (depending on weather) and compare to speed under indoor light stands. After initial testing, students redesign circuits or mobile construction to optimize design. Students use hand-held devices to film their moving Mobiles to judge the machine’s speed. Students demonstrate how their Solar Mobile works and justify in writing why their mobile should be chosen for the Children’s Technology Museum. 
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
US DOE WInd Turbines

Variables Affecting Wind Turbine Power

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Now that students are familiar with how mechanical electricity generation works, they will build a wind turbine powered by a box fan. Different teams will test different turbine variables to see how the amount of electrical power is affected. After each...

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Learning Goal(s):
• Students will be able to identify and explain at least three variables that affect the efficiency of wind turbines • Students will conduct a scientific investigation to determine which wind turbine configuration will generate the most power
Author:
Craig Marais
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours

Analyze Data and Draw Conclusions

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Students have performed the investigation and will now analyze their data. They will accomplish this through a journaling activity that requires them to use the data collected from the actual races. The will refer to sentence frames in order to make...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will determine how differences between solar cars affected their functionality. Students will make claims based off of quantitative and qualitative data. Students will engage in scientific talk based off of their own observations when constructing and testing solar cars. Students will complete a journaling activity that outlines their processes relating to making conclusions.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Keeping it Cool With Solar - Structure Test: How Cool Are We?

Grades:
K-2
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

This lesson is designed for one 30-45 minute session. Students are shown how thermo infrared thermometers work. Teacher uses infrared thermometer and has students record the ground temperature outside and inside their structure. Students record and...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students build shade structures that will optimize cooling the earth’s surface from sunlight. Students collect and analyze how cool the earth’s surface is inside their structure.
Author:
Mark Lewin
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Copper Oxide Solar Cell Construction and Testing

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

This lesson is designed to be completed in one 80-minute section, but can be done in two 40-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate student construction of copper oxide plates with electric burners or hot plates. Teachers will guide students in...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will construct an oxidized copper sheet solar cell Students will test an oxidized copper sheet solar cell for voltage and current
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours

Part 2 - Lesson 2: Wind Energy

Grades:
6-12
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

Students will learn about wind and how wind varies across geographies. Students will use Vernier Wind Turbine kits or homemade wind turbines to experiment with blade angles and wind speed. During experimentation, students will collect data as blade angles...

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Learning Goal(s):
1.Students will conduct an experiment where blade angles are the variable and wind speed is constant.2.Students will conduct an experiment where blade angles are constant and wind speed varies.3.Students will collect and analyze data to provide a conclusion to the questions: What is the optimal blade angle for generating the most energy? What is the optimal wind speed for generating the most energy?4.Students will research prevailing winds and use a provided map of their region to indicate wind speed and direction.5.Students will propose locations for wind farms based on optimal energy generation and zoning restrictions.6.Based on their proposals, students will determine a range of potential kilowatt generation from wind power.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Solar Boat Science Investigation

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

Design a science investigation to test a solar speedboat, airboat, and surface submarine. Students will use the “Planning an Investigation Template” in order to determine their motivations for designing a solar boat, make predictions about the outcomes...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will design an investigation to test three models of solar vehicles. Students will justify which materials will be used in their construction. Students will be able to support their design with reasoning. Students will determine different methods of collecting data from their experiment relating to three types of solar boats.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+: Final Challenge and Presentation

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
6
Description:

In this lesson, students will navigate through a maze using their SPRK+ in order to reach the solar charging station. Students will redesign their chariot in order to meet the needs of this new maze in order to carry their solar panels to the charging...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will combine SPRK+ programming with the construction of a compatible chariot in order to guide their SPRK+ “Mars rover” to carry solar panels to a charging station.Students will present a final project to the class that summarizes their knowledge about the scientific background knowledge tied to this project as well as their design and testing process.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours