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

Sources of Energy

Renewable/Green Energy

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
5
Description:
In this lesson, students will be introduced to the different forms of renewable/green energy. They will learn about the photovoltaic cells installed in our school district, Beaverton Schools. However, any project on
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will learn about and observe different forms of renewable energy. They will also learn about the different photovoltaic cells installed on Beaverton or other schools with Solar 4R Schools projects.
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Solar Circuit

Solar vs. Battery Circuits

Grades:
4-5
Unit:
Lesson Number:
6
Description:
In this lesson, students will explore and do small experiments with mini solar panels and circuit boards. The class will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Students will continue to work in their Solar Energy Student Notebooks to record...
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Learning Goal(s):
Students will do experiments that reinforce the idea that the sun’s energy can be transferred into electrical energy. Students will also explore and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of solar energy. Students will discuss how solar energy compares to other forms of energy generation.
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 on...
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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
Other Subjects Covered:
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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More Details Less Details
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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More Details Less Details
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
Other Subjects Covered:
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 they...
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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 what...
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More Details Less Details
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
Constructing Solar Panels

Solar Panel Construction, Orientation and Use Unit

Grades:
9-12
Description:
For this extended task, students will track the sun's altitude and Azimuth to determine the best position for their hand-built solar panel, learn solar cell operation basics, solar panel construction, series and parallel circuitry and basic array sizing.
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Learning Goal(s):
Modeling and data analysis
Pedagogy & Practice:
Author:
James Mulanax
Relevant NGSS PE:
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Solar Rooftop

Introduction to the Photovoltaic Effect

Grades:
9-12
Lesson Number:
1
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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More Details Less Details
Learning Goal(s):
Students will be able to describe the basic structure of a photovoltaic solar cell. Students will be able to outline or summarize how solar cells produce electricity. Students will be able to explain why silicon, boron and phosphorous are most often used to construct solar cells.
Pedagogy & Practice:
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Other Subjects Covered:
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour