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

Keeping it Cool With Solar: Reflections of an Engineer

Grades:
K-2
Lesson Number:
7
Description:

This lesson is designed for one 30-minute session. Students analyze their data and reflect through video recording about how solar technology and their structures kept the ground (earth’s surface) cooler.

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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...

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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
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:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Checklist

Solar Ovens: Frontload Vocab. And Preview Standards

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:

Vocabulary and standards will be reviewed throughout all of the lessons, but this day is dedicated to front loading the vocabulary and previewing the standards. Students will use their energy workbook to keep track of vocabulary from this point forward...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will preview vocabulary and standards in order to better comprehend future lessons.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Wadsworth OH thumbnail

Lerato Cooks Up a Plan

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
7
Description:

The teacher will begin reading aloud the realistic fiction book, “Lerato Cooks Up a Plan” from Engineering is Elementary. In this book, a young girl from Botswana learns science ideas that help her design a solar oven for her family. Students will reflect...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify a real world problem that can be solved using solar energy. Students determine how the sun can be harnessed without generating electricity from it.
Author:
Debbie Abel
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
All American Sun Oven

Professional Sun Oven

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
8
Description:

Students will view a professional solar oven in use and hypothesize how it works. They will do this through observing the oven in action as it cooks an egg, then recording their observations. This will be recorded in their energy notebooks.

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn how a professional solar oven works. Students will make scientific observations about the functionality of a solar oven. Students will practice prototyping through their own sketches of a solar oven.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
All American Sun Oven

Insulation

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
9
Description:

Students will learn about the importance of insulation in a solar oven. They will use their own background knowledge, as well as observations of insulation used to contain thermal energy, and determine how this will be incorporated into solar ovens.

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn that they can increase the temperature inside of their solar ovens with insulation. Students will determine what makes a good insulator. Students will make observations about different types of insulators. Students will discuss real world examples of insulators.
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
All American Sun Oven

Heat Conduction of Different Materials

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
10
Description:

After a demonstration using Amazing Ice Melting Blocks, students will conduct small temperature experiments using different types of materials. They will use what they learn to build their solar ovens and additionally answer discussion questions in their...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn that the material of the item that they choose to cook their egg in matters because different materials conduct heat differently. Students will compare insulators with conductors. Students will determine the purpose of conductors within a solar oven.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
All American Sun Oven

Solar Ovens: Choosing Colors

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
11
Description:

Students will conduct experiments using different colors of paper. During this process, they will make observations about the functionality of different colors when incorporated into design in relation to reflection and absorption. Students will use what...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn that darker colors absorb more sunlight and get warmer. Students will understand the relation of absorption to thermal radiation emission. Students will conduct an experiment that isolates color as a variable to test.
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
All American Sun Oven

Reflecting Sunlight

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
12
Description:

Students will see a demonstration and conduct a simple experiment on reflecting sunlight. During this demonstration, they will determine the purpose of the reflectors on a solar oven’s design and make observations about their functionality. They will use...

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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn that reflectors can be used to increase solar oven temperatures by concentrating solar energy. Students will use their observations from the prior lesson to make claims based on the concepts of reflection and absorption within a solar oven system. Students will use their observations from reflection and absorption experiments to determine how to best capture reflected solar energy.
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min