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 >>

Designing a Solar Charger (Lesson 4)

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0
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Intended Grade Level(s):
10th
11th
12th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Amperage
voltage
electricity
Power
Energy Storage
Battery charging
Estimated Activity Length:
4 hours
Learning Goal(s):

1. Students will explore the role of series and parallel wiring as they pertain to voltage and amperage.
2. Students will explore the processes involved with charging batteries and relate these processes to voltage and amperage.
3. Students will test photovoltaic modules to identify voltage and amperage outputs.
4. Students will design a system of wiring 3 V, 1.5 A modules together as a means to charge a
12 V lead-acid battery
5. Students will predict and test the effectiveness of their designed solar charger.

Common Core Standard(s) Met:
11-12.RST.3
11-12.RST.6
11-12.RST.9
F.IF.6
F.BF.2

In this lesson, students will further explore the potential and challenges related to using photovoltaics to supplement the power needed to charge batteries in BEVs. Students will be provided with a 12 V lead

... View full description >>

Can Portable PV Charge Vehicles? (Lesson 3)

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0
Author:
Clayton Hudiburg
Intended Grade Level(s):
10th
11th
12th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Amperage
voltage
electricity
Power
Energy Storage
Battery charging
Estimated Activity Length:
2 hours 30 min
Learning Goal(s):
  1. Students will explore the role of series and parallel wiring as they pertain to voltage and amperage.
  2. Students will explore the processes involved with charging batteries and relate these processes to voltage and amperage.
  3. Students will test photovoltaic modules to identify voltage and amperage outputs.
  4. Students will calculate, using data from field tests, the maximum power that can be produced using photovoltaics within the constraints of a typical passenger vehicle’s surface area.
  5. Students will calculate charging times using various PV array power ratings.
Common Core Standard(s) Met:
11-12.RST.3
11-12.RST.9
F.IF.6
F.BF.2

In this lesson, students will begin to explore the potential and challenges related to using photovoltaics to supplement the power needed to charge batteries in BEVs. Students will test a variety of wiring options related to series and parallel wiring. Once students have grasped the basics, they will measure the surface area of a passenger... View full description >>

Illuminate Me: Merging Conductive Sewing, Technology, and Solar Power

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0
Author:
Kristy Schneider
Intended Grade Level(s):
7th
8th
9th
10th
11th
12th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electricity
electronics
Conductive Thread
solar energy
Wearable technologies
Programming
Arduino
Battery charging
Estimated Activity Length:
10 hours
Learning Goal(s):

1. Students will design and sew a wearable circuit using conductive thread. 2. Students will program a wearable microcontroller to light up garment with bright LEDs. 3. Students will incorporate solar power into a wearable garment project by recharging NiMH batteries for a renewable energy battery pack. 4. Students will apply knowledge of circuitry and energy transfer to maximize design.

Light up your clothing using solar power! For this unit, students will attach thin, flexible solar modules to a bike helmet and recharge NiMH rechargeable batteries for a renewable energy battery pack. The rechargeable batteries will be used to light up bright LEDs via conductive thread and a programmed microcontroller. ... View full description >>

Mini Solar Houses Unit

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0
Author:
Beverly Satterwhite
Intended Grade Level(s):
4th
5th
6th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
electricity
solar energy
current
voltage
photovoltaics
seasonality
Circuitry
energy transformations
Energy Storage
mini-houses
design challenge
photovoltaic installation
Estimated Activity Length:
8 hours
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.

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 conclusions about the optimal placement of a solar cell. This lesson will prepare students for... View full description >>

Solar vs. Battery Circuits (Lesson 6)

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0
Unit:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Intended Grade Level(s):
4th
5th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Science
solar energy
photovoltaics
electricity
renewable energy
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
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.

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 their observations and discussion. View full description >>

Energy Efficiency - Lighting (Lesson 4)

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0
Unit:
Author:
Debbie Abel
Intended Grade Level(s):
4th
5th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Science
Energy
efficiency
electricity
Power
lumens
Watts
equivalent
LED (light emitting diode) light
CFL (compact fluorescent light)
incandescent light
Estimated Activity Length:
50 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will understand what energy efficiency means, and learn how to choose energy efficient light bulbs. Students will determine which lightbulbs are the most efficient. Students will understand how energy efficiency relates to energy generation and climate change.

In this lesson, students will learn how to read light bulb packaging (lighting facts) and do a whole class experiment comparing a 60-watt incandescent to an equivalent CFL and an LED bulb. This experiment will be conducted using a kil-o-watt meter, engaging students with electricity content such related to power and energy usage in the home.  ... View full description >>

Collecting and Reporting Data, Making Recommendations - Passive Solar Water Heating (Lesson 9)

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Intended Grade Level(s):
4th
5th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Energy
solar energy generation
renewable and nonrenewable energy
electricity
light
energy transformation
photovoltaic
analysis
recommendations
Estimated Activity Length:
1 hour 30 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will identify variables related to the sun heating water such as time of exposure, air temperature, and color of container. Student groups will design and build solar water heater containers using five-gallon water jugs. Students will design containers using color, cover material, and surround as variables. Students will predict which container and location will collect the most heat from the sun.

Students will explore ways that the sun can be used to heat water and the variables involved in the efficiency of using the sun to heat water for use in homes or businesses. They will determine this through

... View full description >>

Setting Up the Experiment - Solar Water Heating (Lesson 8)

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Intended Grade Level(s):
4th
5th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Energy
solar energy generation
renewable and nonrenewable energy
electricity
light
energy transformation
photovoltaic
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will use their previous learning about observation and solar power to set up an experiment to determine the amount of heat that can be collected in water containers from the sun. Students will determine three variables that affect the jug’s absorption and trapping of energy from the sun. Students will take data measurements from these set ups in order to make evidence-based conclusions from the experiment.

Students will set up the experiment that they will use to determine the amount of energy from the sun that can be used to heat water and the variables that can help the exchange of heat most effectively. They

... View full description >>

Observing and Keeping Records (Lesson 7)

Average Rating:
0
Author:
Eric Gronseth
Intended Grade Level(s):
4th
5th
Subject Area(s) Covered:
Energy
solar energy generation
renewable and nonrenewable energy
electricity
light
energy transformation
photovoltaic
observations
conclusions
Estimated Activity Length:
40 min
Learning Goal(s):

Students will review scientific observations methods learned earlier and the application of those methods for the solar energy unit. Students will practice observations and data recording. Students will explain the importance of selecting useful variables from which they can collect data. Students will be prepared to implement an experiment in the classroom that they can draw conclusions from.

Students will review basic scientific observation methods and the importance of keeping and reporting accurate observations. Teacher will discuss with students the different types of variables that they can

... View full description >>

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