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

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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More Details Less Details
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
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Let's Build Sun Ovens

Grades:
3-5
Lesson Number:
9
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the students to three different styles of inexpensive solar ovens. Students will work together to build a File Box oven, an auto shade/bucket oven and a “Copenhagen” style oven. Students will follow written...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will follow written directions and use what they have learned about necessary components of a solar oven to build three different ovens in small groups.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
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Let’s Get Cooking!

Grades:
4-5
Lesson Number:
10
Description:
The purpose of this lesson is to provide students with a hands-on experience using the sun to cook cornbread or cookies. Students will also learn to use an infrared thermometer. There is also an optional extension for the class or individual students to...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
At the end of this lesson students will be able to: • Follow and prepare a recipe for cookies. • Learn to take and record oven temperature every 30 minutes using an infrared thermometer. • Evaluate the three ovens with a pros and cons list for each one after cooking. • Write one or two of their own questions. • Make suggestions for design changes.
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
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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
Solar Mini House

Mini Solar Houses Unit

Grades:
4-6
Description:
In Lesson 1, the lesson focuses on understanding how the angle and orientation affect the amount of energy that is generated through use of a solar cell. Paper azimuth finders, Keva Planks, and multimeters will be used in order for students to draw...
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Learning Goal(s):
1. Students will understand how to use an Azimuth finder to determine the direction and altitude that solar modules will face. 2. Students will learn how to describe why a solar module is pitched at a particular angle. 3. Students will understand how to measure the voltage and current for an electrical energy source. 4. Students will learn how to build a circuit that will light a light bulb with a switch and without a switch. 5. Students will understand that the electricity flows through a circuit from an energy source to a load. 6. Students will understand the difference between open and closed circuits. 7. Students will understand the similarities and differences between solar cells and batteries as an energy source. 8. Students will understand how electricity flows through a circuit (from energy sources to loads) with more than one source and more than one load. 9. Students will understand how to build series and parallel circuit and the characteristics of each. 10. Students will learn to power both a light and a fan. 11. Students will learn how to find a fault in a circuit. 12. Students will understand that the electricity flows through a circuit from an energy source to a load. 13. Students will understand the difference between open and closed circuits. 14. Students will identify the causes and solutions to various complications that arise in the construction of circuits. 15. Students will use the design process to create a roof to hold an adequate number of solar modules to power an LED and a fan. 16. Students will understand how to make a geometric net (a 2D drawing that when folded creates a 3D shape) for designing a roof.
Author:
Beverly Satterwhite
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours
 Foil Barge

What is Force?

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students will build a barge out of tin foil and describe the forces acting it. The barge itself is designed only with the constraints that passengers within the barge will not get wet, allowing for students to experiment with different shapes and densities as...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify the Laws of Motion and learn about the forces acting on the system. There are multiple forces acting on a boat, some of these forces include, acceleration, friction, gravity and thrust.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour

Solar Boat Science Investigation

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
Design a science investigation to test a solar speedboat, airboat, and surface submarine. Students will use the “Planning an Investigation Template” in order to determine their motivations for designing a solar boat, make predictions about the outcomes with...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will design an investigation to test three models of solar vehicles. Students will justify which materials will be used in their construction. Students will be able to support their design with reasoning. Students will determine different methods of collecting data from their experiment relating to three types of solar boats.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Solar Boat Race

Collect Data and Compare Performance of Different Boat Designs

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
8
Description:
Students will race the solar speedboats, airboats, and surface submarines and then compare the performance results and of the various types of solar boats made by the class. Students will compare and contrast forces acting on the system by examining the...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will compare and contrast forces acting on the system by examining the results of the airboat, speedboat and surface submarine races. Students will collect quantitative and qualitative data points that denote the effectiveness of each boat design. Students will compare observations made during the race and draw conclusions from these observations.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Carol Patrick
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec

Solar Cars Science Investigation

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
Students will design a science investigation to test solar car with a pulley or with a variety of gear sizes. In the previous lesson, they were introduced to the different types of systems that can be employed on their car. In this lesson they will use the “...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will design an investigation to test solar vehicles. They will determine which particular materials they will use in the testing of their chosen format. Students will allow for redesign to take place by determining variables that can be manipulated in a measurable format. Students will determine data that will be useful to collect in the testing of their vehicle design.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min

Build Solar Cars

Grades:
4-6
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students will build their solar vehicles. There are many options for them to do this, depending on the specific variables hoping to be tested following the construction and material-selection process. Students will be given the opportunity to try out multiple...
Energy Content:
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will construct a geared solar car, a pulley-system solar car, or both. Students will make verbal predictions about the outcomes and viabilities of different types of solar cars. Students will pinpoint the independent, dependent, and control variables in their solar car testing process.
Author:
Carol Patrick
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min

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