Solar Updraft

Let's Build Our Wind and Solar Energy Toy

Grades:
3-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

Students will combine what they learned in previous lessons using their investigations of convection-related phenomena to design a device that will convert light energy from the sun into thermal energy and utilize the resulting convection currents. Their...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will determine that thermal energy resulting from the sun’s radiation can create an updraft that will power a turbine to spin.                                                Students will identify characteristics of turbine design that improve the success of their device.Students will utilize content from previous phenomena they investigated, such as the chimney stack effect and Norwegian candle toys, to determine how to best harness the energy transformed by their device from the sun.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours

Design and Engineer Solutions

Grades:
5-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

This lesson is designed to span 9 days with 50-minute sessions. The students will use a Design and Engineering Journal to guide them in the design and engineering process. In small groups they will use the research from lesson 2 to formulate solutions to...

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Keeping it Cool With Solar: Build Time

Grades:
K-2
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

This lesson is designed for one 30-minute session. Students build their structures based on their designs from Lesson 3. Students share evidence about ho w their structures affect the sunlight on the earth’s surface.

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Cost Effective Solar Cells: Solar Panel Data Sharing

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:

This lesson is designed to be completed in one 40-minute section. The teacher will facilitate the sharing of student solar panel data from indoor and outdoor testing with fans, music circuits, LEDs and any other combinations that were constructed. Teachers...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will analyze and share out power generation results with classmates
Author:
Tom Wolverton
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
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 Charger Diagram

Photovoltaic Solutions "Shark-Tank Style"

Grades:
10-12
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

In this lesson, the students will take their knowledge gained in the previous activities to innovate design solutions that will allow PV technology to plan an increased role in the transportation sector. The challenge given to them is to design a BEV that...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use data and mathematics to design a solution for using PV technology in the transportation sector. 2. Students will create a presentation with visuals and specs outlining their proposed solution. 3. Students will present and attempt to “sell” their products to a panel of judges.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Car Charger Schematic

DC to AC to DC Efficiency

Grades:
7-12
Unit:
Lesson Number:
5
Description:

This is part of the Off the Grid Unit. This lesson will continue to deal with efficiency of USB charging devices, but this time we will be using an inverter in order to create AC voltage from a battery pack, and then use a standard AC charger (what you...

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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will use multimeters to measure voltage and current in circuits. 2. Students will use collected data and be able to make power calculations from this data. 3. Students will also be able to calculate efficiency from their power calculations. 4. Students will be able to compare efficiencies in order to identify the circuit that is most efficient. 5. Students will be able to make circuits from a diagram and vice versa. 6. Students will know what an inverter is and what it does.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Brett McFarland
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
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

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