To see descriptions of all available curriculum by grade, click here. To download a PDF of all available units, click here.

Puerto Rico Power

When the Grid Goes Down and Stays Down

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Through an examination of media published in the five months following Hurricane Maria in 2017, students will develop an understanding of the electrical grid, the vulnerabilities of a grid system, and the immediate and long-term challenges of living without...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand the general structure of an energy grid Students will develop an understanding of the living conditions in Puerto Rico after Hurricane MariaStudents will collaborate to brainstorm needs to support safety, health and comfort in a natural disaster setting.Students will identify energy resources that one might desire to have in order meet the needs they identify. 
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Melody Childers
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Solar Cell Manufacture

Research and Evaluate the Impact on the Environment and Society of Converting Natural Resources into PV Cells

Grades:
7-8
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will engage in guided research to explore resource acquisition, material processing, and electricity generation associated with photovoltaic cells. Opportunity for differentiation exists in the level of assistance in guiding the research, the...
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will evaluate information to describe the impact on society from resource extraction and materials-processing for PV cells.2. Students will communicate their understandings of different impacts from converting natural resources into PV cells through participation in a Socratic Seminar. 
Author:
Melody Childers
Estimated Activity Length:
6 hours
Earth Sun

School Energy Hunt

Grades:
3-4
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand that everything that is powered by energy comes from a source from nature. This is meant to be an introductory lesson on identifying sources of energy
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to list equipment in the school that is powered by energy. They will also be able to identify the various types of energy that power the equipment.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Earth Sun

Saving Lives with Solar Ovens

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will be introduced to Solar Cookers International. Students will learn about different solar cooker designs and how they function. Students will learn the pros and cons on the use of solar ovens in developing countries. Students will gain an...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn about different solar cooker designs and how they function. Students will learn the customs, jobs, food and clothing of people in different countries of Africa.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
50 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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More Details Less Details
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
Reading Concept Map

Energy Changes Forms

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students read informational text about the forms of energy and energy transformation. They use a graphic organizer in the form of a concept map to take notes on details and examples. Optional – using solar beads, solicit ideas about what energy transformation...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand that energy changes form. Students will be able to name different forms of energy and give examples of some of the transformations of energy that commonly occur. Students will find details and examples in informational text.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Leah Gorman
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Building Solar Boats

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
7
Description:
Students will follow step-by-step instructions to build their solar boats. They will troubleshoot as necessary by making sure electricity flows into the motor to make the vehicles move by propeller or gears. They will be using their planned investigations...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will follow step-by-step instructions to build their solar boats. They will troubleshoot as necessary by making sure electricity flows into the motor to make the vehicles move by propeller or gears. Students will determine different data points that are useful in the determining the most effective design for a solar powered boat. Students will undergo the process of redesign, noting why they made changes to particular variables on their boat and noting how these changes played out.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Solar Car Student

Solar Car Challenge: Background Research on Car Design

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
3
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
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
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
Solar Mobile

Introducing the Solar Mobile Design Challenge

Grades:
6-8
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
This lesson is aimed to engage students and build excitement for their future engineering design challenge of building the fastest Solar Powered Mobile. Through multi-media resources, Students will encounter real life solar aircrafts and a room-sized Solar...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be introduced to solar aircraft. Students will form and write questions about solar aircraft into their Engineering Notebooks setting the stage for future questions.Students will be introduced to a room-sized solar mobile and add additional questions to their engineering notebook.Students will be introduced to the engineering design scenario. 
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

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