Solar Updraft Towers Lesson 4: Let's Build Our Wind and Solar Energy Toy

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Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
wind energy
engineering design
Solar Updraft Tower
solar energy
energy transformations
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will determine that thermal energy resulting from the sun’s radiation can create an updraft that will power a turbine to spin.                                                
  2. Students will identify characteristics of turbine design that improve the success of their device.
  3. 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.

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 primary objective will be to design a device that uses energy from the sun when placed on a... View full description >>