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

Solar Rooftop

Macro-Scale Solar

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
This lesson begins with basic chemistry with regards to atomic structure. The lesson then moves to understanding the special properties of silicon as a photoelectric semi- conductor. Building on this, the basic structure of photovoltaic solar cells is...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to describe the basic structure of a photovoltaic solar module implementing the ideas of series and parallel wiring. Students will be able to describe the basic structure of a photovoltaic solar array implementing the ideas of series and parallel wiring. Students will be able to describe the function and necessity of an inverter when using photovoltaic arrays.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Solar Rooftop

Solar Pathfinder Tutorial

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
This lesson is designed to allow the students to practice assembling and using their Solar Pathfinders, along with analyzing the data. The students will take a single measurement and digital photograph at a location near the classroom designated by the...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to properly assemble and orient their solar pathfinder. Students will be able to properly record the information provided by a solar pathfinder. Students will be able to accurately analyze the information provided by the solar pathfinder to calculate the solar potential (kWh/m2/day) taking into account variables such as shading, climate and weather.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Solar Rooftop

Solar Site Assessment

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students will do an actual site assessment to determine the available solar resource for a chosen location.
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to use a Solar Pathfinder to determine the amount of solar resource lost to shading from nearby trees, buildings, etc. Students will be able to calculate the number of kWh of electricity that can be produced in a specific location and in a specific sized area. Students will be able to calculate the amount of carbon emissions that can be offset due to installing photovoltaic panels of various sizes. Students will be able to calculate the size array needed to offset all electricity use for the high school.
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+ Unit Overview

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Description:
This unit incorporates basic programming knowledge and solar energy into an engineering design challenge using Sphero SPRK+ robots. The theme for this challenge centers on the idea of Mars rovers, and the challenges faced in space exploration, specifically...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will develop tools to use in the Engineering Design Process.Students will learn drag and drop programming with Sphero Edu (formerly Lightning Lab).Students will determine how series and parallel circuits affect voltage and current.Students will understand how to use photovoltaic sources to charge a SPRK+.Students will design a chariot to carry a photovoltaic power source for a SPRK+.Students will learn to program a SPRK+ ball and chariot through a maze.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Sphero SPRK+

Introduction to Drag and Drop Coding Using Scratch

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
1
Description:
Students go through a series of exercises and projects/challenges to gain familiarity with coding, specifically with drag-and-drop coding. Students will look at Scratch, a free introductory computer programming language, which focuses on creative computing...
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will understand how to properly order basic blocks of code to program simple functions.Students will determine the steps needed to debug issues in block programming.Students will devise methods to achieve basic animation-focused block programming tasks.Students will combine music and animation to create music videos and simple games using block coding.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+: Sphero Edu Coding

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
2
Description:
After working on a few Scratch drag and drop programs, participants will transition to Sphero Edu, a comparable drag and drop program for Lesson 2 to prepare to program a Sphero SPRK+ ball to navigate through a maze.
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will use block programming and Oval Language in order to make a SPRK+ perform a variety of motion-oriented tasks.Students will combine motion and sound functions using block programming and Oval Language.Students will track useful pieces of sequence code that they can reuse in order to get their SPRK+ to navigate a lengthy maze.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK: Mars Exploration Debate

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
3
Description:
Students will research and then debate about the value of Mars exploration through robotic and/or human missions using a debate structure.
Energy Content:
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify high quality scientific information through research that represents multiple sides of an argument.Students will communicate a pre-determined side of an argument verbally, using evidence to support their claims.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+ Electricity Fundamentals and Photovoltaics

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
4
Description:
Students work through a number of solar circuit explorations that culminate in a challenge to charge the Sphero SPRK+ devices with solar panels. In this exploration, students will investigate the requirements of various loads, working toward the voltage and...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will determine how to create various types of circuits in order to power loads with different electric needs.Students will identify the electric needs of a Sphero charger and build a circuit needed to charge this device.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+: Chariot Engineering Design

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
Students will work through the engineering design process to build a chariot for their SPRK+ that will carry their solar panels through a maze to a charging station. Students will draft prototypes, test their designs, and make changes to their design based on...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will identify possible design solutions to have a Sphero SPRK+ pull solar panels as a portable power source.Students will work in groups to determine the best possible designs and construct and test these designs with their team.Students will determine the strengths and weaknesses of each design and incorporate these findings into further construction phases.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Sphero SPRK+

Solar SPRK+: Final Challenge and Presentation

Grades:
6-8
Unit:
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
In this lesson, students will navigate through a maze using their SPRK+ in order to reach the solar charging station. Students will redesign their chariot in order to meet the needs of this new maze in order to carry their solar panels to the charging station...
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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will combine SPRK+ programming with the construction of a compatible chariot in order to guide their SPRK+ “Mars rover” to carry solar panels to a charging station.Students will present a final project to the class that summarizes their knowledge about the scientific background knowledge tied to this project as well as their design and testing process.
Author:
Deb Frankel
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours