Solar SPRK+ Lesson 1: Introduction to Drag and Drop Coding Using Scratch

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0
Unit:
Author:
Deb Frankel
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Computer Programming
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will understand how to properly order basic blocks of code to program simple functions.
  2. Students will determine the steps needed to debug issues in block programming.
  3. Students will devise methods to achieve basic animation-focused block programming tasks.
  4. Students will combine music and animation to create music videos and simple games using block coding.

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. After working on a few Scratch drag and drop programs, participants will transition to... View full description >>

Solar SPRK+ Unit Overview

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0
Unit:
Author:
Deb Frankel
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Computer Programming
electricity
solar energy
Solar Battery Charging
Mars Rovers
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will develop tools to use in the Engineering Design Process.
  2. Students will learn drag and drop programming with Sphero Edu (formerly Lightning Lab).
  3. Students will determine how series and parallel circuits affect voltage and current.
  4. Students will understand how to use photovoltaic sources to charge a SPRK+.
  5. Students will design a chariot to carry a photovoltaic power source for a SPRK+.
  6. Students will learn to program a SPRK+ ball and chariot through a maze.

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 remote control of exploration tools and the energy generation needed to power these... View full description >>

Solar Updraft Towers Lesson 5: Learning About Solar Updraft Towers

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0
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Solar updraft towers
renewable energy innovations
passive solar energy usage
Estimated Activity Length:
0 sec
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will be able to define and explain what a solar updraft tower is.
  2. Students will make connections between their previous engineering challenge and a real world solution to the world’s growing energy demands, including careers.

This lesson helps students learn about solar updraft towers being planned and built around the world to help solve the energy crisis by using unlimited power from the sun. This will provide real world context to the engineering challenge they engaged in during the previous lesson. A video is shown to the class; then students are encouraged to... View full description >>

Solar Updraft Towers Lesson 4: Let's Build Our Wind and Solar Energy Toy

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
wind energy
engineering design
Solar Updraft Tower
solar energy
energy transformations
Estimated Activity Length:
3 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will determine that thermal energy resulting from the sun’s radiation can create an updraft that will power a turbine to spin.                                                
  2. Students will identify characteristics of turbine design that improve the success of their device.
  3. Students will utilize content from previous phenomena they investigated, such as the chimney stack effect and Norwegian candle toys, to determine how to best harness the energy transformed by their device from the sun.

Students will combine what they learned in previous lessons using their investigations of convection-related phenomena to design a device that will convert light energy from the sun into thermal energy and utilize the resulting convection currents. Their primary objective will be to design a device that uses energy from the sun when placed on a... View full description >>

Solar Updraft Towers Lesson 3: Wind Power--A Hands on Experience

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
wind energy
engineering design
energy transformations
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will understand that wind energy can be converted into other forms of energy.
  2. Students will determine different methods to increase the effectiveness of a wind turbine blade at harnessing and converting the mechanical energy of the wind.

This lesson challenges students to work in teams to design successful turbine blades for the “KidWind Firefly”. The firefly has an LED light that lights up when the students have designed turbine blades that spin effectively. This lesson provides students with hands on experience in designing turbines blades. This will scaffold them nicely into... View full description >>

Solar Updraft Towers Lesson 2: Where Does Energy Go?

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0
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Convection currents
properties of matter
Energy Fundamentals
energy transformations
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will understand that hot air rises
  2. Students will understand why hot water and hot air rise and cold air and cold water sink.
  3. Students will learn that wind is produced by warm air rising and cold air sinking.
  4. Students will learn that the energy of moving hot air can be converted into other forms of energy.
  5. Students will understand that energy from the sun can be converted into heat.
  6. Students will discuss the effects of the chimney stack phenomenon.

This lesson consists of six demonstration activities that show examples of ways in which water and air absorb heat to transfer energy from one place to another. These demonstration activities act as unique phenomena in which students can generate questions to lead subsequent investigations with each activity in learning centers.  Through... View full description >>

Solar Updraft Towers Lesson 1: Informative Writing--Where Does Energy Come From?

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
energy sources
renewable energy
Non-Renewable Energy
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will understand ten renewable and non-renewable energy sources on the earth.
  2. Students will learn the locations of different energy sources on the earth.
  3. Students will learn the history of energy sources and how they have been used by humans.
  4. Students will learn about innovations and inventions used to find, recover, store and release energy for human consumption.

This lesson is a non-fiction research and writing project, which includes a differentiated choice menu and list of ideas for publishing the completed project. Each student will choose one of ten energy sources to research, including coal, natural gas, petroleum, propane, uranium, biomass, wind, geothermal, hydropower and solar. He or she will... View full description >>

Solar Updraft Towers Unit Overview

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Lisa Morgan
Intended Grade Level(s):
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th
8th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
energy sources
renewable energy
Non-Renewable Energy
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will understand ten renewable and non-renewable energy sources on the earth.
  2. Students will learn the locations of different energy sources on the earth.
  3. Students will learn the history of energy sources and how humans have used them.
  4. Students will learn about innovations and inventions used to find, recover, store, and release energy for human consumption.
  5. Students will understand that hot air rises
  6. Students will understand why hot water and hot air rise and cold air and cold water sink.
  7. Students will learn that wind is produced by warm air rising and cold air sinking.
  8. Students will learn that the energy of moving hot air can be converted into other forms of energy.
  9. Students will understand that energy from the sun can be converted into heat.
  10. Students will discuss the effects of the chimney stack phenomenon.
  11. Students will understand that wind energy can be converted into other forms of energy.
  12. Students will determine different methods to increase the effectiveness of a wind turbine blade by harnessing and converting the mechanical energy of the wind.
  13. Students will determine that thermal energy resulting from the sun’s radiation can create an updraft that will power a turbine to spin.                                       
  14. Students will identify characteristics of turbine design that improve the success of their device.
  15. Students will utilize content from previous phenomena they investigated, such as the chimney stack effect and Norwegian candle toys, to determine how to best harness the energy transformed by their device from the sun.
  16. Students will be able to define and explain what a solar updraft tower is.
  17. Students will make connections between their previous engineering challenge and a real world solution to the world’s growing energy demands.

Students will combine research, direct observations, and hands-on investigation to lead them into an engineering design project involving the construction of a solar updraft tower.  During this process, students will make references to specific phenomena they witnessed in the classroom involving convection currents, solar energy, energy... View full description >>

Wave Attenuator Unit Overview

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0
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Electromagnetic Induction
Faraday’s Law
Electromagnets
Magnetic Properties of Current-carrying Wires
renewable energy
Wave Fundamentals
Electricity Generation
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Learning Goal(s):

1. Students will demonstrate energy transfer through space using electromagnetic phenomena.
2. Students will design a model that demonstrates that a current-carrying wire can induce magnetism.
3. Students will define and build an electromagnet.
4. Students will demonstrate electromagnetic induction.
5. Students will describe and model the energy transfer and transformation in a wave attenuator.
6. Students will build a wave attenuator using a diagram and selected materials.
7. Students will test the model wave attenuator they built.
8. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator).
9. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators.
10. Students will communicate results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of a wave attenuator.

Through a series of learning experiences, students will experiment with the basic concepts of motion to electrical energy transformation. Students start by building a series of models that demonstrate the interactions between magnetic and electric fields. Students then apply this background knowledge to convert ocean wave power into electricity... View full description >>

Wave Attenuator Lesson 3: Testing a Tidal Wave Attenuator

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Tabatha Roderick
Intended Grade Level(s):
6th
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Electromagnetic Induction
renewable energy
Wave Fundamentals
Electricity Generation
Estimated Activity Length:
5 hours 40 min
Learning Goal(s):

1. Students will investigate variables that may affect the output of an energy conversion device (wave attenuator).
2. Students will interpret data to identify which variables increase electrical output for these model wave attenuators.
3. Students will communicate results from scientific inquiry to identify factors that are important to optimizing the design of a wave attenuator.

Students will test the efficiency of the tidal wave attenuator models that they previously built. They will determine variables on their models they can manipulate, such as wire gauge and magnet strength, and measure the effects of manipulating this variable on the success of their design. They will report their findings in a presentation to... View full description >>

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