Solar Mobile

Solar Mobile Design Challenge Unit Plan

Grades:
6-8
Description:
This unit involves students learning about transferring solar energy to small motors, exploring the center of gravity and testing light sources (including the sun). The culminating engineering design project gives students the chance to pull together their...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will design circuits using various solar panels in order to power motors with propellers. Students will learn about solar energy transfer in order to power the motors on their solar aircraft.Students will research an aircraft and draw an outline of the aircraft onto foam board. Students will explore the concept of center of gravity. Students will test the efficiency of various light sources (incandescent, fluorescent, LED, halogen) for usage by a PV cell.Students will use their prior testing results and knowledge to engineer a solar-powered mobile. Students will work to transfer the most energy from the solar panels considering all the tested variables in order to power the fastest, most efficient mobile.Students will demonstrate and explain why their solar mobile should be chosen for the solar mobile display in the children’s museum. 
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

Adrift in a Sea of Plastic Unit Plan

Grades:
5-8
Description:
In this unit students will investigate the phenomena of plastic trash islands floating in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The students will work to solve the problem of plastic trash islands through the engineering and design process. Using 3D printers,...
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Learning Goal(s):
·       Students will design 3D models using Tinkercad software.·       Students will define the problem of plastic trash islands.·       Students will describe possible solutions to the problem of plastic trash islands.·       Students will research the plastic trash problem and create google slideshows the problem and how we might fix it.·       Students will investigate different ways to build structures that both float and hold weight.·       Students will build a model of a device that could collect plastic from the ocean.·       Students will test the models they build.·       Students will communicate their results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of the plastic collecting device.
Author:
Jonathan Strunin
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Solar Charger Diagram

Replacing Fossil Fuels?

Grades:
10-12
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
As students begin to look at the role photovoltaics might play within the transportation energy sector, it is important for them to understand why the phasing-out of fossil fuels is such a daunting task. This lesson is designed to help students comprehend the...
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will define energy density. 2. Students will compare energy densities among various transportation fuel options. 3. Students will compare costs per unit of energy among various transportation fuel options. 4. Students will compare energy return on energy invested among various transportation fuel options. 5. Students will assess which fuels have the most potential to replace fossil fuels in the transportation sector using a weighted matrix.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
All American Sun Oven

Heat Conduction of Different Materials

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
10
Description:
After a demonstration using Amazing Ice Melting Blocks, students will conduct small temperature experiments using different types of materials. They will use what they learn to build their solar ovens and additionally answer discussion questions in their...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn that the material of the item that they choose to cook their egg in matters because different materials conduct heat differently. Students will compare insulators with conductors. Students will determine the purpose of conductors within a solar oven.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Researching Chemicals and Materials for Solar Cell Construction

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
10
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in three 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate student research on solar cell designs centering around the engineering problem: How can we make a cheaper, cleaner or more efficient solar cell? Teachers should...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will research chemicals, materials and procedures for their own solar cell designsStudents will write an introduction to the problem, including criteria, constraints, and solar cell conceptsStudents will research and write a rough materials and procedure for the solar cellStudents will research and describe their solar cell designs.
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Wadsworth OH thumbnail

Build the Ultimate Solar Oven

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
11
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to take everything the students have learned and experienced up to this point and use it to build their own Ultimate Solar Oven using items found at school, home, the Dollar store or home improvement store for under 5 dollars...
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Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to: plan, sketch, design and build a new solar oven. In addition, students will be able to cook food with their solar oven.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Model Sketch and Presentation

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
11
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in two 80-minute sections. The teacher will facilitate brief class presentations on the unique solar cell models. Teachers will model and encourage students to provide warm and cool feedback to the presenters,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will sketch 2D or 3D models of their proposed solar cellsStudents will present their unique solar cell design ideas and sketches of their solar cells
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Earth Sun

Individual Independent Projects

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
12
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to allow students to choose an area of interest regarding solar power and research it further in a manner of their choice. Students will produce a final product to display or share at the “Salute to the Sun” culminating event at...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will plan, gather research materials and create a project of their choice. In doing so student will learn proper research methods (i.e., reliable sources) and how to categorize and translate information. In addition students will become comfortable and familiar presenting information to others. Lastly, students will also learn how to create a rubric for self evaluation.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours

Cost Effective Solar Cells: Unique Solar Cell Engineering Report

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
14
Description:
This lesson is designed to be completed in three 80-minute sections. The teacher will have students write their engineering reports with the following sections: Introduction (taken from Lesson #10), Design (incorporating the model from Lesson #10), Methods,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will format solar cell data into tables and graphsStudents will draw conclusions based on testing dataStudents will construct an engineering report in a research poster format
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Dye in Water

Developing a Model of Thermal Energy, Atoms, and Molecules

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Through a series of exploration and inquiry activities, students will explain kinetic molecular theory, atomic, and molecular structures. Students will be challenged to gradually increase the precision of their explanation of molecular-level structures and...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will develop a model through collaborative inquiry to explain thermal kinetic energy and predict the outcome when heat is added to a substance. Students will build argumentation from evidence skills through collaborative sense-making and gallery walk presentations. Students will develop a model of atomic and molecular structures.  
Author:
Melody Childers
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
9 hours

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