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Design a 50 Year Energy Plan

50 Year Energy Plan - Unit Plan

Grades:
9-12
Description:
Throughout this creative, hands-on Unit, students are challenged to scale up every Disciplinary Core Idea and Science & Engineering Practice they’ve learned - from simple electricity generation, to building their own stereo speakers and DIY electric...
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Learning Goal(s):
Explore causes and effects of climate change as related to energy production. Develop a working understanding of varying stakeholder perspectives on the causes and effects of climate change. Through hands-on exploration, build a working speaker that can connect to a cellphone. Use DIY speakers as a model to observe the process of producing electrical currents with a simple generator. Design, build and refine a wind turbine to efficiently convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. Design, build and refine a system that is the most effective at converting the sunlight into electrical energy. Students develop models to study the relationship between the Earth’s atmospheric composition and the Earth’s surface temperatures using simple diagrams. Students reflect on the impact of energy sources and power production on the environment. Students utilize their knowledge of how energy generation processes impacts the environment to inform how and why they develop a 50-year Energy Plan for their local community. 
Author:
Bradford Hill
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Earth Sun

Understanding Light

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
Students will observe and articulate their observations of the way that different materials reflect and absorb sunlight, transforming it into heat to varying degrees.
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will conduct simple experiments to learn what kind of materials absorb heat from the sun, what kind of materials reflect light from the sun and what color of materials do not get hot in the sun. This lesson gives students experience in beginning to learn about why certain materials and colors are used in solar ovens.
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
30 min
Earth Sun

Light Is Transformed into Heat

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
When absorbed (not reflected), light seems to disappear. What happens to it?
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will experience how some materials absorb heat from the sun and other materials reflect the sun and stay cool.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Earth Sun

Daily Variations in Solar Energy

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
8
Description:
Students will observe and articulate that even on cloudless days, the amount of solar energy changes with the time of day and the time of year. Solar energy is strongest when the sun is high in the sky (when shadows are shortest). The sun shines more directly...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand that when the sun is lower in the sky, it casts a longer shadow on an object. When the sun is higher in the sky, it casts a smaller shadow. Students will also understand the importance of adjusting the position of a solar oven every half hour or so throughout the cooking process to insure that the bottom of the oven is facing the sun directly in order to maximize heat absorption.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
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
UV Color Changing Beads

Hypothesizing Why Solar Beads Change Color

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
The purpose of this activity is to introduce the idea that sunlight is energy and that this energy can be absorbed, converted into heat, or even cause a chemical reaction to occur. This lesson is also an introduction to the process of science, involving...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be introduced to the vocabulary of observation, hypothesis, and evidence. Students will use the process of science discourse where people respectfully listen and disagree with each other’s ideas.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Leah Gorman
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
30 min
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Cosmic Rays

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
NOTE: SUN PHOTOMETER SUMULATOR AT CAS.HAMPTONU.EDU SEEMS TO BE NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Using a map of school buildings, students will pick four areas to monitor over the year using wireless weather stations and the Solar Power Meter. In a following lesson,...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn how the sun affects their school by measuring the temperature at different locations around the building in the fall, winter, and spring. They will learn how to measure solar energy and look for trends in temperature and solar power over the year. These trends will then be used to investigate how energy reaches Earth from the Sun.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Cosmic Ray Detector

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
The students will be introduced to solar radiation with an activity centered on using a cloud chamber to visualize cosmic rays.
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Learning Goal(s):
• Students will discuss how energy from the sun is transmitted in a variety of forms that perform different amounts of work. • Students will identify multiple pieces of evidence that demonstrate energy being transmitted from the sun.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Sun in Space

Our Place in Space: Tracking the Earth's Path Around the Sun

Grades:
1-3
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
During sessions in October, January, and April we will discuss observations about the weather during that season (temperature, length of day, precipitation) and explore how this relates to the Earth’s movement around the Sun. The lesson series will start with...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able describe how the Earth orbits the Sun and how the tilt of the planet creates the seasons by recording the ‘Sun’s path’ in our sky in the fall, winter, and spring.
Author:
Jamie Repasky
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Solar Circuit

How the Amount of Light Affects a Solar Cell

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Students will cover portions of a solar cell and measure the output with a multimeter. They will compare and contrast the outputs of different percentages shaded and different configurations using the same percentage shaded.
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Author:
Todd Freiboth
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min

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